How to rock your next interview and get the job

15 thoughts on “How to rock your next interview and get the job”

  1. Hand. Written. Notes. A lost art my friend. In my day job, I interview people all the time. In fact I just did 2 yesterday. I agree with all of your tips – especially the part about being interviewed on YOU.

    I take a different approach than many. I don’t care about your resume – I really don’t. If it’s longer than 2 pages, I am done. Give me a one-pager (2 is okay if you’re a senior level manager who has tons of experience) but no more. I also don’t care about your answers that much. Most people Google their way to fabricated answers that mean nothing to me. I can tell within 5 minutes if I am going to hire or move that person on to the next round. It’s all about HOW you answer, not what you answer. Don’t BS me – be real. Admit mistakes. Be real. Say what your real opinion is, but BE REAL. I can go find anyone who will pump out answers they found on the internet, I want a real person I can work with who’s open to change and learning.

    So my advice to anyone reading this, if you didn’t get it out of my comment – is just be yourself. If they don’t like you, it’s okay. If you act like someone you’re not, your real self will eventually come out and that may not be the best fit for the position. So be yourself – you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

    And your point about dressing appropriately – my gosh I can’t agree more. Some people think they’re going to a rock concert, I swear. Dress professional, act professional, but be yourself.

    Great article Steve 🙂

    1. Amen to that, Chris. Being yourself is definitely one of those things that comes across pretty clearly in most interviews. Unless you are a skilled actor, the “fakeness” of answering questions and acting differently in the interview situation very often comes across as plainly as the sky is blue.

      I’ve had some pretty interesting candidates dress in some weird clothing, but I’ve never had a rock concert look. Man, that’s bad!

  2. One of the main drivers of getting out of regular employment for us is that my husband is a major introvert and hates interviews. He’s also probably not great at them (I’ve never been in the room). He can answer questions fabulously and give thoughtful, honest answers, but he gets hung up on the small talk. He never wants to have to apply for another job again. For him, when he’s thoroughly sick of his current position, he wants to be able to do what he wants to do without having to fight an uphill introvert’s battle to be able to do it. Thanks for the tips… I hope to not have to use them. 🙂

  3. All great points, especially about first impressions.

    I’d also highlight having prepared answers. If you’ve been asking the block a few times you know to expect certain questions. Make sure you have great answers to those questions. I do a lot of interviewing as well, and am continually dismayed at how many people are tripped up by basic questions. It’s your time to shine. Make the most of it, and be prepared.

    1. Thanks Tawcan – yup, lying is huge because, if you’re caught, you’re basically dead in the water from that point on. You might as well get up and walk out of the interview at that point and spare yourself the agony of finishing it out. 🙂

  4. I think anything over a ONE page resume is too self-important, unless you’ve been in the president’s cabinet or something. Most jobs just don’t need that much description, and if you’ve had ten real jobs, then you’re a job hopper and I probably don’t want to invest in you anyway.

    Love all of your interview tips. Spot on. Especially not saying “I try too hard. I care too much.” Barf. 🙂 If you can’t be real in the interview, I basically can’t ever trust anything you ever say. (Notice how I’m completely looking at this as a person who hires, not a person who seeks a job? Clearly I’ve been in my job too long!) 😉

    1. Thanks ONL – agreed on the length of resumes…it’s easy to just leave stuff on your resume just for the hell of it, even when it might not apply to the job that you’re actively striving for. Hiring managers sure as hell don’t care about your previous unrelated work experience.

      Appreciate the read, as always! 🙂

  5. I could have used this advice a couple of months ago 🙂

    I did good on most of your points but I think they could see right through my bullshit. Oh well, I’m content with where I’m at and I probably wouldn’t be as far into my self-employment journey as I am if I got any of those positions.

    Also, congrats on being on Rockstar Finance today!

    1. Thanks Marc, appreciate the kind words! And it’s true that dissatisfaction over jobs can and does provide enough motivation many times for people to kick start their own self employment. I am definitely looking forward to follow your journey. 🙂

  6. Excellent tips Steve! I just got through reading your post on your former job as IT director, so you’ve definitely got the experience from the other side of the table too. I’ve been in a similar position as you (I used to own an IT service company) and after interviewing hundreds of candidates, I was (still am) completely amazed by some interviewee’s apathy. This is great news for applicants because if you really want to stand out it doesn’t take that much more effort!

    Of course as you said, you need to BE ON TIME. And as Chris mentioned, a hand written note afterwards is always GOLD. I would also add – DO YOUR HOMEWORK on the company you’re applying for.

    Understand the company’s vision and core value proposition before arriving. Come in with a mindset of how you can provide value to the organization beyond the technical aspects of the position. You should also ask questions during your interview and engage in a genuine dialogue with the interviewer(s). Take an interest in them personally and just be yourself.

    1. Hi Michael – good point about researching the company before you go in for an interview. Fitting into the company culture is definitely something that more and more organizations are prioritizing, even above the straight adherence to job requirements from a skill standpoint.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. The good news is that very soon you and I won’t need to worry about our next interviews! Who needs a job once we reach FIRE? I am sharing this with my daughter who just graduated college and could use the coaching from someone other than her father. 🙂

    I think a key prior to the interview is being well prepared regarding the company, interviewer, and job being offered. Having an insider that can give coaching advice, also rehearsing your interview in your mind or with a friend, can help with preparations. I agree, arriving early and getting into the Zen of the space is important. Chatting with the receptionist could reveal some useful nuggets of information for the interview by simply having a friendly conversation. It also gets your voice warmed up and ready to talk.

    1. True that, Bryan. I make a habit of chatting with whomever from the company is willing to chat with me before the interview. It helps to keep me light-hearted and, as you mentioned, does warm up my voice a bit and used to talking – especially if it’s an early morning interview. 🙂

  8. This is something good”” “How to rock your next interview and get the job” One of the principle drivers of escaping customary livelihood for us is that my spouse is a noteworthy self observer and abhors interviews. He’s additionally most likely not awesome at them (I’ve never been in the room). He can answer addresses breathtakingly and give keen, legitimate answers, yet he gets hung up on the babble. He never needs to need to apply for another occupation again. For him, when he’s completely tired of his present position, he needs to have the capacity to do what he needs to manage without fighting a tough loner’s fight to have the capacity to do it. A debt of gratitude is in order for the tips… I would like to not need to utilize them. 🙂

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