As an image consultant, job interview advisor, and career author, I get emails and questions daily from readers, audience members, and clients–mostly young employees and job seekers–looking for insider advice and tips about jobs and the workplace.

Here’s a recent question from Chan, and my answer to him.

Dear Vicky,

I graduated from B school a year ago and have just moved to Minneapolis. Because I’m new to this area, I’ve been doing a lot of research on local companies and businesses that are offering business administration positions. So that’s good. I feel confident about my resume and qualifications–but NOT so confident about my interviewing skills!

What can I do to practice getting better in a live situation?

I look forward to your reply.

Gratefully,

Chan K.

Dear Chan,

It’s a great idea to practice your interviewing technique, live, before the real thing.

Five thoughts for you as you move forward.

1. Ask recruiters in the Minneapolis area for help. Set up appointments with them. One or two may be able point you in the right direction and even practice interviewing with you.

2. Use your social media connections to find a “job-hunting buddy” and practice with that person. Interviewing skills get better the more often you practice them.

3. Tape yourself as you practice. It’s amazing what you can learn about your speech patterns when you record yourself. Also, practice in front of a mirror.

4. To stand out from the pack, research everything about the company you can find from their website, articles, annual report, and any contacts you may have at the company. Make a master list of questions they might ask, and practice giving dynamic answers several times a day.

5. Write down your goal, and phrase it in a way that’s very specific to the company. “My goal is to land a job as vice president of customer relations at the ABC Corporation, and to make $XX,XXX a year.” (You’ll know the perfect salary based on the research you’ve done on the company.) Writing down goals helps you achieve them.

Good luck to you on your quest! And thank you for writing to me.

Best regards,

Vicky Oliver,

author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

If you have any career-related questions, feel free to send me your question at vickyoliverblog.com.