Admittedly, you can't rehearse your interview role. You don't know who the interviewer will be or where the interviewer will lead you. You can, however, prepare yourself for almost any kind of interview if you can recognize certain techniques and if you understand how the interviewer is gathering information about you. I've reproduced a typical interview to give you an opportunity (1) to gain an understanding of the thought process that provides the background for the interviewer's actions; and (2) to provide you with a sample of what you can expect during an interview.
There are three parts to the dialogue. First, there is what the interviewer actually says; second, what the interviewer is thinking; and third, how the interviewee responds. As you read the dialogue and "listen in" on the interviewer's thoughts, you'll better understand what goes on in the interviewer's mind as he or she tries to unravel the background, experience, and personal characteristics of you, the candidate.
Mary Gorham is interviewing a candidate named Bob Jones. Bob is looking for a job as a salesman. The third "voice" in the dialogue is Mary Gorham's thoughts. As you read the dialogue, try to identify with Mary. By putting yourself in her shoes, you'll gain better insight and understanding into the interviewer's objectives and stratagems. This understanding will increase your ability to deal with that real-life interviewer.
The interview begins Scene
The interview is about to take place. The person conducting the interview is Mrs. Mary Gorham. She is the personnel manager for the International Apex Company. As a result of earlier interviews, she has screened out all but four candidates for a sales job. Bob Jones is one of the four candidates who remain in the running. Whether or not he gets the job will depend to a great extent on how well this interview goes.
The candidate assesses his answer at this point and decides that a more specific answer is in order. If he is to dispel any doubts the interviewer might have as to why he was let go, he must do so now.
At this point the interviewee, Bob Jones, can ask questions; the better the questions, the better he will be evaluated. These questions should be thought through beforehand. The interviewer will continue to evaluate and Judge, ask questions and formulate hypotheses, and so forth; so do not assume for one moment that you are in control. Make every question and every answer count... and you will win!