If I haven’t interviewed for a new job in many years, best to apply to some jobs I’m not really interested in. Get some practice answering questions by phone and in person. Spend time refining my responses and fine-tuning the questions I’ll ask during the interview. Gain clarity regarding my requirements for a new job, and get comfortable with the messaging I want to reinforce to potential employers. Then when the really juicy opportunity appears, I’ll be polished and ready.
If I’m growing into my new sales position and I’m not yet confident that I’m asking all the right questions of my clients, I should try asking questions of total strangers. Someone I meet at the supermarket or gym – find a detail and investigate: “I like your jacket, where did you get it, how long have you had it?” Recognizing that follow-up questions open the conversation to deeper levels, prepare a list of 5 follow-up questions that I can rehearse in situations that have no real gravity. Then when I’m in front of a client, I’ll have more tools in my toolkit to really probe for understanding.
The opportunities will come. It’s a never-ending process to prepare ourselves so we may seize them when they do.