The Champion’s Rule for Interviewing

I was listening to an interview yesterday with a coach of numerous gold medal winners and professional athletes.  He said something about performing in elite sports that stuck with me.  It stuck with me because it applies to so many things in life, including finding a job.

“The champion’s rule is that if you do your homework, the test is easy.  How you prepare determines how well you’ll do.”

I’m frequently involved in hiring processes for various companies and I’m always surprised at how poorly prepared some people are for their interview.

People work so hard to get interviews.  They hustle.  They spend lots of hours on their resume and on researching companies. 

And then they struggle in the interview.  They can’t tell a cohesive story about their career history.  Or they struggle to convey their skills vs focusing only on their past responsibilities.  Or they lack self awareness and come across as arrogant.  Or maybe they just ramble.  

It’s amazing all the ways that people screw up interviews.

How do you not screw up? 


And then you practice some more.

“How you prepare determines how well you’ll do.”

How do you practice?

Research top interview questions.  Then rehearse your answers.  Write them down then say them out loud.  Ask people you trust for feedback.

Ask people you know who are hiring managers what questions they typically ask candidates.  Who can you learn from so you can prepare for your next interview? 

There are so many things you can do to prepare.  And if finding a job is really important to you, why don’t you put everything you have into making sure you nail your interview?

If your entire livelihood was on the line, would you walk into an interview simply hoping you answer the questions well enough?  Or would you do everything in your power to prepare?

How you prepare for your interview determines how well you’ll do.  And how well you do determines if you’ll get the job.