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There's no back door or short cut. The best way to feel confident when you walk into your next interview is to practice for it ahead of time.
But Judi Perkins, founder of the career-coaching service Find the Perfect Job, says that in her 22 years of recruiting, one of the most common mistakes she sees job seekers make is failing to prepare.
"A successful job search is like building a house," she says. "It needs a foundation, a vision of what the final product will look like, and blueprints and a plan for getting there."
Follow this guide to ready yourself for your next interview:
1. Craft stories about your past work history. To help your interviewer see that your past experience has groomed you for this opportunity, Perkins suggests that you examine the job description and think about specific stories of your accomplishments in relation to each requirement. For instance, if the job posting calls for social media coordination, Perkins recommends crafting a concrete story highlighting your strong work ethic and results.
"My team put together a Facebook page and by the end of month one, we had 900 likes. Over the next six months the 'likes' increased 200 percent because of the apps that we added," Perkins suggests.
2. Figure out your biggest weaknesses. Hiring managers want to see that you're self-aware and realistic about your weaknesses. This is often the toughest question for job seekers to answer, Perkins says. "Some may know their biggest weakness," she explains. "But they're afraid if they say it, they won't get hired. So they tend to give an answer that sounds good."
Instead of glossing over your shortcomings, you should genuinely share them, followed by your proposed methods of self-improvement. For instance, Perkins suggests you say: "I tend to become very involved in a project and lose track of time. This...