Review of Big Interview and Resources Roundup

Career Blog

Published: February 27, 2019 by Greta Snyder

Interviews can be terrifying, and there is no better time to start conquering our fears than now.

This week, I am reviewing the interview simulator and training service Big Interview that iSchool Career Consultant Jill Klees recommended in last month’s career workshop “Your LIS Career Starts Here!

The intention of this service is to help you prepare for your interview by knowing exactly what questions to expect, constructing great responses to impress interviewers, and triumphing over nerves to answer naturally through training and mock-interview practice software.

Many training items are available through SJSU for free, and who doesn’t love free advice? So I downloaded the free “Top Ten Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet” and signed up for its free “5-Day Interview Bootcamp.” I will share any great take-aways next week.

If you want to take full advantage of Big Interview training and use the mock-interview software, the service is reasonably priced at $79 per month, with a 100% money-back 30-day guarantee and the option to cancel at any time. Overall, I think this service is invaluable as an interview practice tool for in-person interviews, but especially for virtual interviews.

Luckily, as SJSU iSchool students and often as working professionals in the field, we are familiar with common virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate. With practice, we have figured out how to adjust tone of voice and elevate non-verbal communication skills. Yet conferences, lectures, and meetings do not replicate the pressure-cooker feeling of a job interview.

I don’t know about anyone else, but the first time I did a virtual interview, I was surprised by how hard it was to feel like I was expressing myself well or looking at all calm and confident: nothing like watching yourself in the hot seat. As professionals in a tech-savvy field, the odds of having virtual interview at some point in our careers are extremely high, and I think you’d find Big Interview a perfect way to prepare.

For some interesting articles and quick tips, Big Interview also has offers a free blog. One article I found very helpful was “Interview Strategies for Introverts.” This article shares some great tips for how those of us who might be more introverted can navigate the treacherous interview territory. Some of the highlights:

  • Leverage your introvert skill of listening and observing to tailor answers to the exact question and to match interviewer’s tone and demeanor.
  • Don’t try to be an extrovert. Do share any ideas or questions you have that pop up to demonstrate that you are actively thinking about the job and organization.
  • Make sure to not just run out of interview, but instead leave with an authentic smile and firm handshake. Even if you are nervous, this behavior indicates your sincere interest in the job opportunity.

Don’t forget, for more excellent free interview resources, SJSU iSchool Interview Resources is chock-full of great information and links. I particularly like Mr. Library Dude’s “Nailing the Library Interview” blog, and the section on “Interview Pitfalls.” I love his points to 1) avoid pitching yourself like a public relations campaign and to instead give honest answers to the actual question asked, and 2) to follow directions, i.e. do not describe what you would do if asked to engage in a role-playing type scenario, actually do it.

Another great opportunity to ask questions about interviews first-hand will be Jill Klees’ upcoming workshop Career Coaching Office Hour on March 6, 2019 from 5:30-6:30 PM (PT). I plan to attend this invaluable workshop and hope to see many of you there.

As always, let’s talk! Please email me with any suggestions for future topics I can research, or what information would be most beneficial to helping you achieve your professional goals.

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