Google’s head of HR on how to NAIL the job interview

Your interview day has finally arrived. The very thought of walking into a boardroom and being grilled on your skills is making you feel a tad queasy. You want to come across as confident, capable and self-assured – but how?

In an article for LinkedIn, Google’s Head of People of Operations, Laszio Bock, reveals tips from his new book, Work Rules!, on how to nail that interview.

1. How should I prepare before the big day?

“You can anticipate 90 per cent of the interview questions you’re going to get. Three of them are ‘Tell me about yourself’, ‘What is your greatest weakness’ and ‘What is your greatest strength’? Write down the top 20 questions you think you’ll get. For EVERY question, write down your answer. Yes, it’s a pain to actually write something. It’s hard and frustrating. But it makes it stick in your brain. That’s important. You want your answers to be automatic. You don’t want to have to think about your answers during an interview.”

2. How can you prove yourself in an interview?

“Every question should be answered with a story that proves you can do what you’re being asked about. Say ‘let me tell you about the time I…’ Always tell a story, or have facts to prove you have the skills you claim to.”

3. How can I read the room?

“Use all that brainpower you’re not using to desperately come up with answers on the spot. Look around. Focus on the interviewer. In the first 10 seconds, is there anything in their office, or about them, you can notice and use to forge a connection? A book on a shelf? A family photo? A painting? Read the interviewer – is their body language open or closed?”

4. How do I speak confidently?

“When I was in my second year of business school, I practiced my interview answers – out loud – until I could tell each story smoothly, without thinking about it (but not so smoothy that I was bored with the re-telling). My roommate walked in one day to find my sitting on the futon reciting why I thought I was a great leader again and again.”

Now what?