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Job Magician Prepare for an Interview Like the President Prepares for a Press Conference  

Before a press conference, the President is thoroughly briefed by his staff. They develop answers for every possible question that could come up, and if the President gets hit with a question that he wasn't briefed on, the White House Press Secretary could get his head handed to him.

You need to prepare for a job interview the same way that the President prepares for a press conference. You need to anticipate the questions and have answers prepared. Think hard about developing answers that are rich with actual examples that clearly demonstrate your qualifications. You will sound far superior to other candidates who merely describe their management style if your interview is filled with anecdotes and stories that describe things that you did.

At the same time, you need to make sure that you don't turn into a long-winded bore, so these prepared answers need to be short. Even more significantly, you need to practice delivering your answers so they don't sound like they are prepared.

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Years ago, back in the days when I didn't have my own business and had to have a real job, I interviewed to be the National Sales Manager for a company that made heirloom quality baskets (my college curriculum made me an exceptional fit for a basket weaving company). This company used independent manufacturers’ reps to sell their product. Most companies have trouble dealing with independent reps, because the reps sell products for many companies, work on commission only, and don’t work for their company directly. The president of this company asked me what I did to get results from manufacturers reps. I told him, “Independent reps work for themselves, and the success of the companies they represent is not their first priority. I’ve found that the key to getting reps to sell my company's products is not to get them to work for my company, but to get them to work for me, personally. I want them to want to please me.If I can get them to do that, they'll feel they've let me down on a personal basis if they're not successful. That's when I've gotten the best results from reps.”
I delivered this in a manner that made it sound off-the-cuff, but this was completely rehearsed. A year after I started with this company (yes, I did get the job), I was talking to my boss about my original interview, and he mentioned that he had been very impressed when I said this to him.

You'll find this is most effective if you prepare these questions and answers in writing, and after you do so, you go through a practice interview with a friend who is also well-versed in your industry.

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