Preparation is one of the basic tenets of searching for a job. If you show up underprepared, you’ll rarely leave a good impression. For that reason, we always recommend researching the company and job for which you’re interviewing. But can you over-prepare to the point where you hurt your chances of being hired? Put simply: yes.
As one of the leading interview prep, career coaching, and professional resume writing services, ResumeSpice knows that over-preparation can result in sounding like a robot instead of an authentic human being. You might also back yourself into a corner. If the interview doesn’t go according to the script you’re writing, you might freeze and, strangely, come off as unprepared.
When prepping for an interview, look to these three tips for guidance:
Prepare for your interview, but don’t memorize
If you’ve spent countless hours Googling interview questions, writing out answers, and practicing your responses like your interview is opening night on Broadway, you’re going to sound rehearsed and inauthentic. Instead, look up common questions and simply jot down a few bullet points you’d like to get across about each one. Yes, practice, but don’t memorize your answers. You should be able to deliver a great answer without sounding scripted.
Speak to your strong points
Spend time thinking about your experience and background – and what unique strengths you bring to the table – so that you can honestly answer questions. Really think through the job and why you’re a great fit for it. Have relevant accomplishments in mind that you’re ready to talk about and which showcase your skills and abilities.
Sure, you might look great on paper. But if you appear nervous, jittery, or give canned answers, you’re not going to get hired. Employers want to hire people who have positive attitudes and are enthusiastic about the job. So don’t deliver stiff answers, even if you think they’re the “right” ones. Instead, let your personality shine through and show the hiring manager why you’re interested in the job.
Remember, there’s a big difference between being well-prepared and sounding rehearsed. You need to think about why you’re a great fit for the job and be ready to get specific with examples. But you don’t need to script exactly what you’re going to say ahead of time.