Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Oral Interview Success: Practice Is Your Secret Weapon

Take a shot glass and a box of rice and slowly pour the rice into the shot glass.
The shot glass will soon overflow, but don't stop, continue to pour until the shot glass is literally buried by the pile of rice.
This is how officers study for the promotional testing process.
We cram our minds with so much information, that our cognitive cups start to overflow.
We study and we memorize information.
We write out our answers (scripting) and we think about our potential answers over and over.
In this common process, there is a critical component of preparation missing - PRACTICE.
We internalize our answers, but we don't say them out loud.
This is tantamount to an athlete thinking about becoming a prizefighter for several years and having never thrown a single punch, steps into the ring with a professional fighter.
The results would be disastrous.
Take a pen and write as fast as you can, "I want to advance my rank".
Now do it again with your other hand and compare the sentences.
The second sentence took twice as long to write, it does not look as good, and it felt awkward writing it.
The reason for this is simply because we do not write with our weak hand.
Without practicing your answers out loud, as you must do in the oral interview, your answers will fail to come out like you want them to and you will feel awkward as you attempt to present them for the first time.
In the oral interview, you must verbally deliver your answers, so why not practice that way? Turn your thought into talk.
Conduct mock orals, have your wife or husband ask questions and critique your responses, speak in front of a mirror, use a video camera or tape recorder, or turn your radio off when you are driving in traffic and practice aloud.
Do whatever it takes, but say it out loud.
I had a client who set up three of his young son's teddy bears and he delivered answers into their little button eyes, but he did it out loud.
There is nothing as satisfying as getting asked a question in an oral interview that you have already answered 30 times.
This simple, but often-ignored preparatory technique is important because when it comes to speaking well in front of others, we are fish out of water.
How was our knowledge tested in school as we grew up? We provided answers by answering true or false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or writing a report.
We are unskilled at delivering articulate sweeping verbal answers in a formal setting, because we never do it and we never practice it.
Delivering answers in the oral interview that have been practiced creates the comfortable feeling of having been there and done that and allows officers to respond rather than react to questions.
Let your competition fumble through their answers, delivered for the first time, because all their answers were in their heads-internalized, unspoken, and unpracticed.
Turn your thought into talk, as you must do in the oral interview and practice, practice, practice.
Test well!

Leave a reply