How to Do Well in an Interview for a Job – This is Lucas. He’s 25 years old and he just lost his job as a bartender. He was forced to move back with his parents, and he’s now looking for a new job! His dream is to become a successful marketer, so he decided to send his CV to all kinds of companies with free roles that were remotely connected to marketing. He actually has no experience whatsoever in this field, but he’s hoping that he will get a chance and prove his ability.
It’s been 2 weeks since Lucas sent out his CV and he’s starting to lose hope, but one day, he receives 3 emails at the same time from three different companies. The emails are very similar: they contain a short message and the date and time of the interview. Lucas feels full of energy and his adventurous instinct gets back to life. He’s so excited that he immediately gets back home to start preparing himself. He rushes to his computer and starts doing heavy research on all the companies.
While scrolling through their websites, he finds out that not only are these businesses similar; they are almost identical. The style is elegant and modern. The structure of their business is almost the same and even the faces of the CEOs look kind of similar. The day of the interviews arrives, and they are all one after another, and the three businesses were on the same street. Needless to say, Lucas is suspicious, but he realizes that it’s probably just a coincidence. 3 hours later he’s driving home. He’s got a big smile on his face. Two of the companies rejected him, but one of them hired him on the spot.
At this point, Lucas doesn’t really care about what went wrong in the other two interviews since he’s got the job. But what about you? Are you looking forward to finding a new job but are stressed about your performance in interviews? Would you like to know what NOT to do and what TO do when being interviewed for a job? If the answer is “yes” then stay with me, and you’ll get the information that will help you impressively increase your chances of getting hired next time you have a job interview.
How to Do Well in an Interview for a Job
The first interview.
Let’s assume that every business was identical (similar place, style, website, etc) and every interviewer was identical when it comes to aspects that would influence their willingness to hire Lucas. So, the environment was the same across all interviews. At this point, the only one that had full control over the outcome of the interview was Lucas. What did he do wrong in the first two interviews?
Let’s examine the first one. Lucas enters the room and sits on the chair. He looks at the interviewer, whose name’s Richard, and he says hi. Then, Lucas realizes that he forgot to shake the interviewer’s hand. He immediately starts worrying and playing movies in his head about the consequences of this small mistake. Now he feels very uncomfortable; all of his initial confidence has been stripped away by this not-so-significant thing. Do those little mistakes really matter or is Lucas just worrying too much? Well, it depends on the interviewer.
However, one thing is certain: you can’t lose all your confidence because of a small mistake. We are all humans, and your interviewer’s a human too, he or she should not intimidate you, so don’t worry too much about those little things. So, it’s very important to keep your confidence to the top. You have to strongly believe that you can bring value to the company you are trying to work for. As soon as you lose your confidence, your belief will drop to 0, you’ll start sweating, worrying about what people think about your haircut and why the man before you has a red tie. In other words, you lost.
So, lesson number one is to be confident and believe that you can bring value to their business. Don’t lose your cool just because you made a small mistake, keep your mind sharp, and be a professional, mature person. You might think that this is obvious, but this is the most common mistake that people make, they just don’t have the confidence. How do you gain it? Here are 3 tips.
- Know their business: do HEAVY research on who they are, what they stand for, and what their style is.
- Prepare yourself in advance and dress in a way that makes you feel extremely good.
- Move around before the interview: walk, jumping jacks, or pushups work fine.
The second interview.
In the second interview, Lucas enters the room, just like before, but remembers to introduce himself with a firm handshake. This boosts his confidence. It also leaves a better impression on the interviewer. He sits down and starts answering questions. All of his answers are OK, just kind of vague and distracted. Here’s an example:
Interviewer: “Do you have any job experience related to this position, Lucas?”
Lucas: Well, no, not really. But I am willing to learn.
Do you see how that’s not enough?
Instead of answering like that, he could’ve used this as an advantage, and crafted a short yet extremely effective answer, said with a firm tone. Here’s what he should’ve answered instead.
“Well, I do not have any job experience closely related to this position, but I did use to work as a bartender. There, I develop my communication and people skills. I learned how to work as a team and deal with all kinds of clients, so I also have customer service experience.”
Boom! See how this, even if simple, is much more effective than just a blind “no” answer? It takes the interviewer from focusing on the negative to focusing on the positive. In summary, you have to craft very powerful answers, you can even prepare yourself beforehand, just make sure to not sound “robotic” or unnatural. Practice your persuasion skills and make the interviewer focus on the value that you can provide, not on the experience that you lack. You have to be ready for anything, especially for this last, extremely important part.
The third interview.
The third interview was very similar to the one before, but this time, Lucas answered the questions properly. But there’s a thing that ultimately got him the job. That thing is the answer to this simple request: “tell me about yourself”. If answered correctly, this will make the difference between being employed and being sent home. Here’s what you should NEVER do. Your interviewer tells you to talk about yourself, and you say:
“Well, my name is Lucas, I live in this city, I’m 25 years old, I live with my parents because I, unfortunately, lost my job. I used to be a bartender and I did a really great job. I was raised in this city, and I’m very happy to be here.”
This is the worst mistake that you can make in an interview. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, and you can’t mess that up! You have to make your introduction less about you and more about what your future boss could get from you. What’s in it for them? Here’s an example of what you could say.
“Well, my name is Lucas, I was born and raised in this city, and I still live here. I am a hardworking man, and I proved that in my last job. I worked as a bartender, and I am grateful that I learned skills like teamwork, communication, and most importantly, relationship with customers. I learned how to keep the reputation of a company at the top, and now I am looking forward to going to the next level, and I’d love to do that with you.”
Boom! Huge difference. This is just an example, you have to craft your own introduction. Remember to keep it short, without any fancy words, and straight to the point: what’s in it for them?
Bonus: how to answer the question “what are your weaknesses?”
I’ve got a bonus for you, what if your interviewer asks you this question:
“what are your weaknesses?” What should you answer?
Well, that’s not complicated. First of all, don’t even think about saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t have any weaknesses”. You’ll look like you are not self-aware. You do have weaknesses, but how can you answer this without destroying your chance of being hired?
The key here is to not make the weakness about your personality. So it shouldn’t be something like “I’m very egoistical” or “I have anger issues”. Also, stuff like “I am too creative” or “I work too much” don’t work either, you’re not fooling anyone! Instead, you should make it about your skills. Why? Because your personality is hard to fix, while a little weakness related to your skills is EASILY fixable.
Here are some examples of what Lucas could say:
“My biggest weakness is that I lack the ability to communicate with angry clients” See how that is easily fixable? Summary and conclusion. So, in this article, you learned the basics of how to easily win job interviews. Here’s a quick summary of what you learned today.
- Strongly believe that you can bring value to the company you are interviewing for.
- Do not lose your confidence or your chances of getting hired will drop! Keep confidence to 100% by doing your homework: do heavy research on the industry and business, prepare yourself in advance, put on an awesome outfit that will make you feel good, and keep yourself moving.
- Introduce yourself with a firm handshake (if the handshake is required by the situation).
- Don’t answer questions vaguely, go into details and focus on what’s in it for the company. Turn your negatives into positives and remember to stay 100% focused on the conversation and body language of the person in front of you.
- Prepare yourself for the most common questions, you can even write them down, but don’t sound robotic when speaking to the interviewer!
- Always focus on the value that you can provide to the company, not on useless stories about yourself. A bit of storytelling here and there to make it interesting is fine but focus on the value.
- Use the “tell me about yourself” part to really sell yourself and include info that won’t or hasn’t been given with the questions. Don’t tell them stuff they are not interested in.
- Be realistic and don’t try to fool or lie to the employer.
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