When it comes to interviews, there's a difference between practicing your responses and rehearsing them. That's according to Chuck Edward, Microsoft's head of global talent acquisition.
Though conventional wisdom says to practice your interview responses, Edward says "some people become overly practiced and rote."
"People become flustered and think it's all about the perfect answer," he tells CNBC Make It, "and it's not."
As the head of talent at a major tech company, Edward says all he really wants to see is that "you're curious, you're read up and you have an affinity for the company."
"Come in with knowledge about the company," the HR exec emphasizes.
The second issue with rehearsed answers, says Edward, is that they don't engage the interviewer.
A disengaged hiring manager is more likely to forget about you as an applicant, which may affect whether you get the job.
To connect with your potential employer and make your interview memorable, says Edward, rehearse your questions, not your answers.
"People should really be prepared with questions that have depth and rigor," says the exec. "Really show that curiosity."
Asking challenging and thoughtful questions helps you stand out from the pack because they make the interview more fun and engaging. The Microsoft HR exec doesn't deny that interview preparation is key. However, he says there's a balance between under-preparing and over-preparing.
Edward says that he's often "pleasantly surprised" with the questions people ask him. Tough questions, he explains, force the interviewer to really think about the company in new ways.
"It becomes a dialogue, and you become challenged, and you can feel it that they're making you better [as an interviewer]," he says.
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