Interviewers are simply trying to find a good fit for the role, so you’re probably over-thinking yourself into anxiety.

Get a professional, tasteful interviewing outfit.

Research even more about the company, which should make you at least somewhat curious about what comes next.

There are many likely questions they’ll throw at you, so be prepared for all of them.

If they ask you illegal questions, have a plan to answer it appropriately.

Have a clear set of questions to their final question of “do you have any questions for us?”

Practice for the event beforehand:

  1. Write down at least a dozen likely interview questions.
  2. Practice the answers out loud until you can speak it naturally.
  3. Incorporate the physical body language aspects of the interview into the practice session.

Plan your interview day out, front to back:

  1. Get plenty of rest and have everything ready the day before.
  2. Give yourself a relaxing, rewarding morning routine.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time on interview day, and plan ahead for all failures.
  4. Arrive at the interview early.
  5. Stay polite and pleasant throughout the engagement with the potential employer.

If you see anything that seems suspicious, walk away.

Write a professional thank you letter to everyone you spoke to, including the secretary.

Stay in touch, but keep on going until you get a job offer.

What do interviewers want?

An interview is a sales pitch where an interviewer wants you to convince them that you’re the product they want, not simply you begging for the opportunity to get a job.

To close the deal, you must fill the need in the customer’s/interviewer’s mind with your product:
  • The interviewer’s need is the job description.
  • Employers only ask three core questions:
    1. Can you do the job? (strengths)
    2. Will you love the job? (motivation)
    3. Can we tolerate working with you? (fit)
  • An interviewer looking for traits that show potential, not ability:
    • How you organize your thoughts
    • How well you think quickly
    • Whether you connect relevant information to the job they’re hiring you for
    • Whether you’re honest with them
  • Employers find their answers from two other questions:
    1. Where have your last 5-10 years taken you?
    2. Will you succeed at the responsibilities we give you in the next 5-10 years?

You’re a consultant, not a commodity:
  • Consultants can fulfill needs if other people want them, so they’re paid for their expertise but aren’t offended if they’re not needed.
  • If, instead, you submit to a survival mentality, you’ll be way more nervous and more likely to get a bad employment arrangement.
  • You’re a business partner trying to learn about the organization and work, not simply someone who needs money.
  • Don’t expect to get the job, but expect to do your best to try for it.
  • They’re trying to spend money (possibly on you) to make a problem of theirs go away.
    • Tell them why they want to hire you, not why you need the job.
    • You must understand what they want, not just what you want.
    • If they want to see the next chapter of your career story, they’ll want to hire you or, at least, network with you for future interactions.

You can’t prove yourself with aptitude alone because an interview tracks the image of your aptitude (i.e., your ability to handle stress and anxiety under pressure).

If possible, schedule the interview either in the morning or an hour before the business closes:
  • People tend to remember the first and last parts of their day more.
  • Ideally, aim for the morning before you build up any anxiety throughout your day over it.

Your Interview Outfit

Generally, try to look as good as one of the supervisors in your field.

Observe tiny clothing details about other people in your industry.

For Men:
  • Get a two-piece matching suit:
    • Use conservative colors like navy or dark grey for your pants.
    • The best suits have wool, wool blends, and other quality fibers.
    • Make sure your outfit is tailored.
    • Long-sleeved shirts in white, light blue or a conservative pattern are a safe bet, even during summer.
      • Try to cover up any tattoos.
  • Have ties that match the industry:
    • This can be difficult, so research
    • The most common distinguishing tie is high-quality silk with a pop of color.
  • Keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum:
    • If you want to wear anything, only get a wristwatch.
    • Match your belt and shoes.
  • Shoes should be leather with laces or slip-on business shoes.
  • Socks should be mid-calf length socks in a dark color.
  • Things to never wear:
    • Silly or character ties
    • “Formal” shorts
    • Trendy dress shirts
    • Powder-blue suits

For Women:
  • Match your two-piece outfits.
    • It should be fitted, but not snug.
    • Grey, dark grey, navy or black are appropriate colors.
    • Hem the pants so the cuff doesn’t drag on the floor.
  • Skirts should match your blazer.
    • Your skirt should completely cover your thighs when you sit down.
  • Your shirt can be a tailored blouse, a good quality knit sweater or shell under your jacket.
    • Don’t show too much cleavage or wear a see-through shirt.
  • Most of the time, hosiery should be plain or sheer and a neutral color that complements the suit.
  • Shoes should be medium-height heels or leather pumps that match the suit.
    • Once you start working, you won’t have to wear heels.
  • Things to never wear:
    • Mini-skirts
    • Deep V sequin shirts
    • Large jewelry pieces
    • Platform stiletto pumps
    • Tote bags
    • Gaudy or silly jewelry or bags

Research the Company

Learn even more about the employer than when you applied for the job:
  • Understand more about the company and their culture than one of your future possible coworkers.
  • Search on LinkedIn for the employees and employer you’ll be interviewing.
  • Look for their connections to other organizations that may be relevant.

Understand the job description like it was yours:
  • Go through it line-by-line and visualize what you’ll do throughout the day.
    • Imagine your most likely challenges.
    • Consider the kinds of ideas you’d bring into the organization.
  • For each responsibility or qualification:
    • Write out how your experience and skills fit with each part of the job description.
    • Consider past examples that are “supporting evidence” for your aptitude.
    • If you can’t think of any direct connection, think deeply to find a creative solution to overcome that shortcoming.
  • You should be able to summarize everything you’re thinking to a friend.

Tailor your approach to the interview style:
  • In-person one-on-one interviews are “conventional” interviews, and used very frequently:
    • This interview is usually the most comfortable and personal, so relax and express yourself honestly.
  • Group interviews work through candidates more quickly than one-on-one interaction:
    • Note other candidates’ responses and build on them.
  • Video interviews are long-distance through a streaming video service:
    • Note your room’s acoustics and stay somewhere quiet where nobody will disturb you.
    • Stage a blank background or professional perspective in the shot.
    • Treat the interview as a performance of showing your energy through the camera.
    • Since the interview is a conversation, act naturally, but expect a 1-2 second delay for every line of dialogue.
    • Enunciate your words clearly.
  • Phone interviews cut down the channel of communication to speaking-only.
    • They’re still interviews even without a face-to-face, so take them as seriously as if you were in a video interview.
    • Stand up to articulate yourself more clearly and focus more easily.
    • Note your room’s acoustics and stay somewhere quiet where nobody will disturb you.
    • Take notes of questions and comments to assist you in a potential follow-up interview.
    • Even over the phone, express positivity by smiling.
    • On a mobile or cordless phone, verify you have a clear signal beforehand.
    • You can’t see your interviewer’s non-verbal cues, so pay extra attention to not ramble.
    • Phone interviews often take more time than you’d expect, so schedule much more time for it.
  • Test interviews prove your skills with an interactive project or written exam.
    • Study and plan ahead before you approach the test.
    • Test interviews are sometimes underhanded techniques to get free work done, so leave if you suspect exploitation or it runs for more than an hour.

Once you’re there, tailor your approach to the interviewer’s attitude:
  • Some interviewers don’t care about connecting with you or even the hiring process, and simply want to fill a position.
    • Prove your success with examples and demonstrate your work ethic.
    • Excite them by showing off your work history and plans for the position.
  • To find weak points, some interviewers press on professional history to stir up stress.
    • Stay focused on giving proven stories that show your ability.
  • Some interviewers have absolutely no idea what your job will be or what you’d do if hired.
    • Stay professional with them, but ask whether they’ll make a good boss.
  • Some interviewers are very young and inexperienced, and maybe more than you are.
    • Use a savvy approach to sell your personality and experiences.
  • Some interviewers are pleasant, relatable, listens, and will make you feel welcome.
    • If the interview becomes too casual, steer the conversation back to the job.
  • Some interviewers are obsessed with specifics and minutiae.
    • Prepare many more details than you’ll need to satisfy them.
  • A few interviewers are willing to take risks for a broader reason.
    • Have plenty of applicable ideas prepared to impress them.
    • If they have tons of experience, give a plan that outlines your ideas for the position.

Likely Questions

Personal Questions:
  • How are you?
    • You are always well or excited, though it’s normal to also be nervous.
  • Tell me about yourself. / Tell me something beyond your resumé.
    • Give a two-minute summary.
    • Describing yourself well can start an engaging conversation.
    • Deliver a story:
      • Share something personal in a conversational tone.
      • Be thorough, but brief.
      • Enthusiastically share your excitement about true things.
      • End the story with something they’ll want more of.
    • Discuss education, professional achievements, and goals, then briefly describe your qualifications for the job.
      • Keep your core strengths in mind.
      • Bring up intangible strengths and soft skills.
      • Briefly explain why you want the job.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? / Greatest strength and/or weakness?
    • Be careful sharing your weaknesses.
      • The question is designed to put pressure on you.
      • The standard statements (e.g., I’m a perfectionist, I’m detail-oriented) sound like you’re pretentious or evading the question.
    • Cite a significant weakness you’ve overcome.
      • Have at least two weaknesses in mind in case they ask for a second one.
      • Phrase the weakness as “I am bad at (X), therefore I (Y)”.
      • Make the weaknesses part of your life story of improvement into the job you’re looking for.
    • Relate your strengths to the position after sharing a story about how you applied tangible job skills.

Weird Questions:
  • Weird questions are designed to test how a candidate reacts, as well as their ability to think critically under pressure.
  • While you can’t prepare for all of them, consider the types of questions you’ll get:
    • A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? (Clark Construction Group)
    • Are you exhaling warm air? (Walker Marketing)
    • Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? (Dell)
    • Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt (Active Network)
    • Do you believe in Big Foot? (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Estimate how many windows are in New York (Bain & Company)
    • Have you ever stolen a pen from work? (Jiffy Software)
    • How are M&M’s made? (US Bank)
    • How do you make a tuna sandwich? (Astron Consulting)
    • How does the internet work? (Akamai)
    • How many cows are in Canada? (Google)
    • How many planes are currently flying over Kansas? (Best Buy)
    • How many ridges are there around a quarter? (Deloitte)
    • How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the US each year? (Goldman Sachs)
    • How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator? (Horizon Group Properties)
    • How would you move Mt. Fuji? (Microsoft)
    • If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? (Hewlett-Packard)
    • If you were a brick in a wall which brick would you be and why? (Nestle)
    • If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors? (Apple)
    • If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out? (Goldman Sachs)
    • Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk (Acosta)
    • Pepsi or Coke? (United Health Group)
    • What do you think of garden gnomes? (Trader Joe’s)
    • What kitchen utensil would you be? (Bandwidth)
    • Why is a tennis ball fuzzy? (Xerox)

Work History Questions:
  • Why did you leave your most recent job? / What was your experience like at your most recent job?
    • Never speak poorly of previous employers or sound too opportunistic.
      • Speaking poorly of them implies you could speak poorly later about the interviewer’s company.
    • Explain the situation as politely as possible.
      • After a long personal consideration, you wanted to expand your knowledge/background.
      • The company reorganized and their vision didn’t match yours.
      • Your life orientation changed and the company no longer challenged the skills you wanted to work on.
      • You wanted a change of pace from your current job.
  • What did you like most about (past job)? / What did you least like about (past job)? / Why are you job-hunting?
    • Connect what you liked to the company’s needs to show initiative and performance.
    • You disliked the last job’s lack of opportunities for growth, and be specific about which ones.
  • What results at (past job) are you most proud of? / What made you leave (past job)?
    • Give tangible, specific results.
    • Don’t over-explain if you lost a job.
      • You’ll bring the focus to your lost job.
      • You’ll also imply you haven’t moved on from your last job.
    • Don’t disclose if someone fired you from a past job.
  • If I spoke with your previous boss, what areas would they say you should work on improving?
    • Speak well and honestly about your past supervisor.

Future Role Questions:
  • What do you know about our company? / What do you know about the position you’re applying for?
    • If you’ve been researching, you should be able to write an essay on this subject.
  • What interests you about this opening? / Why do you want to work for us?
    • Give 1-2 minute answers on why they want to hire you.
  • Why do you believe you are qualified for this position? / Why should I hire you? / What can you bring to this company?
    • This question is patronizing and meant to pressure you.
    • There are many ways not to answer it:
      • If you say you want the job, you’ll look desperate.
      • If you offer cliche responses (team player, people person, hardworking), you’ll appear uninterested.
      • If you say you’re not looking intently but open to it, you’ll appear disloyal and won’t stay with the company.
    • Share a detailed variety of 2-3 significant job-related skills for two minutes:
      1. A technical skill
      2. A specific management (or self-management) skill
      3. A personal story
  • What experience do you have doing (job responsibility)?
    • Honestly share how your experience can help with the role you’re applying for.
  • How do you handle pressure/deadlines/frustration/difficult people/silly rules? / How have you dealt with a difficult situation?
    • Share a past situation as more of a challenge than “managing pressure”.
      • If you can’t seem to manage petty issues, you’ll appear incompetent.
    • How you overcame problems is far more relevant than your displeasure with them.
      • Diplomacy, perseverance, and common sense can prevail even in difficult or unfair circumstances.
  • How will you take initiative to get the job done?
    • Share a story where you were self-motivated to complete the task at hand against all odds.
    • Provide at least one in-depth example of your strong work ethic and creativity.
  • How do you hold to your values and beliefs while also accepting input?
    • The question is meant to test both your intelligence and honesty, so think carefully about this one.
  • What are some examples of activities and surroundings that motivate you?
    • They’re not asking to be your friend, so only share activities and hobbies related to the job.
  • Tell me about a time when (situation relevant to the position)
    • You can’t precisely predict their given situation, but you should have at least 1-2 stories connecting your work experience to the interviewing role.
  • What kind of salary are you looking for?
    • While you should have a number before walking in, only discuss it once they’ve given a job offer.
    • Confess you don’t know enough.
    • Tell them you’re flexible.
    • If you’re confident in your negotiation skills, ask how much salary they’ve budgeted for the position.
  • What is most important to you in a new position?
    • Give things that reflect the company’s values.
  • What are the first five things you would do if you got this position? / How quickly do you think you will be ready to contribute to our organization?
    • You’re ready to go almost immediately.
    • Give a story about when you had to start working very quickly.

Overall Career/Future Questions:
  • How does this position fit in with your career path? / What do you see yourself doing in five years?
    • It should be something related to the job’s industry.
      • Sharing dreams or ambitions implies that you’ll use company resources to start your side business.
      • Sharing vacation or moving desires suggests you’re lazy.
    • Always say you’ll be working at the company you are interviewing for, but in a higher position.
      • Don’t imply you want the interviewer’s job, since it means you’re trying to take their position.
  • What were your goals last year? How did you settle on those? To what extent did you meet them?
    • Give answers that show a broader-reaching career that reflects growth in their organization.
  • What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? / What was your most significant achievement?
    • The correct answer to this question will land you a job.
    • Tell a brief, detailed, professional story with:
      1. A problem
      2. The action you took to resolve it
      3. The result of your action
    • Your story must have a legitimately worthwhile achievement:
      • Hard work
      • Meeting deadlines
      • Overcoming obstacles
      • Relevant company issues
      • Relations with co-workers
      • Use as many details as possible: dates, facts, specific results, numbers, measurable results
  • What has been the worst or most embarrassing aspect about your career? How would you have done things differently?
    • Boldly share adverse results or problems if you’ve learned from them.
    • End the story on a positive note.
  • What’s your current salary?
    • You don’t need to share your salary, and the interviewer is behaving disrespectfully by asking.
    • Since they won’t tell you the salary of the last person in that position, it’s not fair for you to share yours.
      • They’re asking so they can offer a small additional amount than what you currently make, even when you’re worth much more.
      • Giving salary information is a form of submission that self-respecting people don’t offer.
    • Delicately handle this question.
      • Ask the salary range of the position in response, then express your need for privacy if they don’t share it.
      • Asking the salary range gives an ultimatum to the employer to either value their employees or their money more.
    • If the employer refuses to proceed without salary information, leave the interview.

Illegal Questions

Before entering an interview, research the regional questions that employers can’t legally ask:
  • Age, race, ethnicity, citizenship, national origin
  • Personal details like height, weight, club affiliations, religion
  • Disabilities unrelated to the job
  • Felonies, convictions, arrest record, some military records

You can only respond to an employer’s illegal question with three possible answers:
  1. Answer the question directly, but give information unrelated to the job that may sabotage their view of you.
  2. Refuse to answer the question, but unintentionally phrase it to appear uncooperative or confrontational.
  3. Examine the question for its intent and respond to it as it might apply to the job.
    • e.g., “Have you been to prison?”
      • “I’ve never stolen from a company.”
      • “I have a clean criminal record.”
      • “I made terrible decisions, but I’ve changed and those events are behind me.”
    • In general, answer the question they can legally ask.

Their Final Question

A hiring manager’s last question is typically “do you have any questions for us?”, and they ask it for several reasons:
  • They want to see how good of a listener you are (i.e., asking questions they already covered).
  • They’re giving room for you to expand your understanding of the company and job.
  • They want feedback to see whether you still want the job.
  • Your question’s framing gives them insight about why you’re interested in the job.

Ask 2-4 legitimate questions based on your interest in the company:
  • Your questions are usually the very last impression you’ll leave them with.
  • A little suspicion is perfectly acceptable (and they usually expect it).
  • Keep track of time, and jump ahead to your most important question if you’re coming up close to the 30-minute/1-hour mark.

You should never ask some questions…
  • …which imply entitlement and high expectations:
    • When will I be promoted?
    • When can I expect a raise?
    • Will I get an office?
  • …which imply a noncommittal attitude:
    • What’s the salary for this position?
    • What are your benefits?
    • Will I travel around a lot?
    • What other jobs are available here?
  • …which imply laziness:
    • What sort of flextime options do I have?
    • Are there security cameras watching everything I do?
    • What are your dress code rules?
  • …that show you care more about job security than personal growth:
    • What is the retirement plan like?
  • …that imply a lifestyle with many medical bills:
    • What medical plan do you provide?
  • …that demonstrate a fear of competition:
    • How many other people are going for this position?
  • …which imply you’ll exploit the job’s advantages:
    • Do I get employee discounts?
    • Do you have any lunch perks or a food allowance?
  • …which imply they’ll have to repeat themselves frequently:
    • (Any question that shows you haven’t been listening)

Very specific role questions:
  • What should I expect the onboarding process to look like?
  • What’s the schedule/on-call arrangement for this role?
  • Can you describe a typical day or week in this position?
  • How does the role itself differ from the job description?

Broader role questions:
  • Why is this position vacant?
  • What would a successful first year in this position look?
  • With respect to the person you’ve seen do this job the best, what made their performance so outstanding?

Company culture questions:
  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What do you love the most about working for this company?
  • What pleasantly surprised you the most about working here?
  • How does the organization define success?

Questions about the company’s relationship with the industry:
  • What is the most important way this company differentiates itself from its competitors?
  • Why do you think job applicants choose to work here instead of with competitors?
  • What are a few of the most significant challenges in the industry, and how will your company approach them?

Manager questions:
  • In this role, who would I work most closely with?
  • How would you best describe your (or the immediate manager’s) management style?

Self-examining/clarifying questions:
  • Do you have any reservations or concerns about my fit for this position?
  • Are there any parts of my experience you would like me to elaborate on?
  • Based on my background and skills, how well do I fit the position?

Change-provoking questions (implies you’ll create change):
  • Is this team equipped to finding better and more efficient ways to do things?
  • How do new employees expand on the culture you’ve developed here?

Questions about immediate actions (implies you’re ready to go):
  • What is the immediate need on your team this position will fill?
  • What projects would I be able to contribute to right away?
  • How will I be evaluated during the first three months?

Long-term questions (implies stability):
  • What challenges will the person in this position face?
  • What are your goals for this position?
  • How is success in this position measured?

Give a great wrap-up question that implies commitment and character:
  • What has differentiated the people previously in this role who were good from those who were great?
  • When do you expect to make a hiring decision?
  • Assuming I’m hired, how can I add the greatest value to the organization in the first 30 days?

Practice for the Event

1. Write down at least a dozen likely interview questions:
  • Write down your answers to those questions.
  • You won’t be able to memorize it, but you’re trying to adapt your intuition toward those questions.

2. Practice the answers out loud until you speak it naturally:
  • Interviews are smaller, high-risk variations of public speaking.
  • If possible, practice with a friend playing the role of the interviewer.
  • Figure out the questions that make you most nervous and anticipate how you’ll manage the worst-case situations.
    • You’re not there to tell them your life story, so let silence persist if it needs to.
    • On the other hand, you must speak up to confidently share your achievements.
  • Remember the worst-case scenario: you don’t get the job and keep looking.

3. Incorporate the interview’s physical aspects:
  • Practice your handshake.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Look natural and courteous, but professional.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Use your hands for meaningful gestures.
  • Practice a warm smile.
  • Rehearse how you’ll greet the different interviewers.

Plan Your Interview Day

A. The Day Before:
  • Try on the full interview outfit:
    • Lint-roll your suit/coat.
    • Iron your shirts/blouses and trousers.
    • Shine your shoes.
    • Pack an extra set of interview-appropriate clothes, just in case anything happens.
    • Men:
      • Get a conservative haircut.
      • Keep your beard well-groomed or clean-shaven.
      • Clean and trim your fingernails.
    • Women:
      • Have a professional-looking hairstyle.
      • Wear natural-looking, minimal makeup.
        • Avoid smoky-eye look or red lipstick.
        • Use neutral shades and a single coat of mascara.
      • Keep clean fingernails and a modest natural nail polish shade.
  • Place extra copies of your resumé and supporting documents somewhere you won’t forget them.
  • Print or write out directions to the interviewer’s location.
  • If it’s a phone or video interview, ensure the equipment, lighting, and sound are functioning properly.
  • Get plenty of alcohol-free sleep that night.

B. Morning Routine:
  • Set a backup alarm.
  • Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast.
  • Groom yourself well:
    • Teeth clean and breath smelling nice
    • Lightly scented cologne/perfume
  • Since asking for a pen appears very unprofessional, keep a pen in your pocket.
  • Get support from God as you understand him and your social network.
  • Focus on yourself and what you want:
    • What you want out of your work.
    • What you can contribute to your potential workplace.
    • Consider how you behave when you’re nervous.

C. Traveling:
  • Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for transit.
  • Review your notes in a car or nearby coffee shop beforehand.
  • Set your phone to silent before you enter the building.
    • If you look at your phone or comment about it, you appear uninterested.
  • Arrive about 15-30 minutes early to the interview.
    • Showing up on time may slow down their schedule.
    • Arriving earlier than 30 minutes may make the receptionist and other staff feel awkward.

D. Arriving:
  • If you’ve prepared and relaxed, you’ll be stress-free and on time.
    • The number one cause of failing an interview is a lack of preparation.
    • The interviewer will want to hire you if you can maintain your humor and personality.
  • Your interview starts the moment you arrive.
    • Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet, from the security guard to the receptionist.
    • Patiently read company materials or a business book paperback while you wait.
    • Give a compliment on the elevator or to someone next to you.
      • However, if you’re too polite or friendly you might be seen as creepy.
  • Breathe, smile, and stay confident.
    • Nervousness is not the same as having no confidence.
      • Nobody can see your inner anxiety.
      • Discomfort is normal, and interviewers expect it.
    • They’re only interviewing you because they think you’re overqualified.
      • The hiring manager has a job vacancy that keeps them from their job, so they want to hire you.
    • Everyone else interviews imperfectly like you.
      • Imagine how the interviews went with the strange, weird, annoying, and awkward people you’ve worked with.

E. During:
  • If you forgot to print the resumé or are late, apologize openly and quickly.
  • Smile throughout the whole interview.
  • Enunciate your words and avoid fillers like “um, uh, basically, so”.
  • Only look at the faces of each interviewer except when reflecting.
  • Apply your best etiquette to everyone.
  • Be genuine and honest about everything.
  • When greeting:
    1. Clearly state your first and last name.
    2. Give a firm, sincere handshake to each interviewer.
    3. If you ask “how are you?” wait for their response and respond to it.
    4. Force yourself to remember each interviewer’s name.
  • Sit down when asked, then keep a good posture.
  • Only use your hands to emphasize points.
    • If you’re in a chair, keep them in your lap or on top of the desk or table.
    • Since they’ll get stuck, don’t interlock your fingers.
  • Listen more than talk.
    • Think of your interview as you interviewing the employer to see if they’re a good fit for you.
    • Observe conversational cues from the interviewer and give natural feedback.
      • Some people prefer small talk while others get to the point immediately.
      • Let silence persist when there’s a pause.
      • In a group interview, observe what other candidates are saying and build on their responses.
    • Stay on topic and avoid straying into a tangent or rambling.
  • Walk them through your resumé
    • Steer them towards the skills, experiences, and accomplishments most relevant to the role.
    • Don’t expect to give your resumé to them unless they ask for it
    • Take your time with each interviewer, vary the questions or responses, and maintain eye contact.
      • You should be able to remember the colors of their eyes after leaving.
  • Never voluntarily disclose negative information:
    • Issues with a previous employer
    • Personal problems that could affect your job performance
    • Criticism about the company you’re interviewing for
  • Fully, accurately answer each question.
    • Take your time with your answers, look thoughtful, and start your answer after they’ve finished the question.
  • After the questions, ask about next steps in the process if you’re interested.
  • Thank the interviewers for their time.

After the Interview

If you suspect anything that could be a larger problem later, walk away:
  • The interviewer isn’t honoring the appointment time and leaves you waiting, then doesn’t apologize for it or offers lunch instead.
  • You realize you don’t want the job or have a gut feeling against taking it.
  • You can see from the office that you wouldn’t get along with the workplace culture.
  • The interviewer lied to you or the job seems like a scam.
  • Any of the managers whom you might report to are rude, condescending or unprofessional.
    • One of the interviewers insulted you or your background during the interview.
  • The interview gave you a bad feeling:
    • You felt oppressed and pressured.
    • The company’s interviewing method makes you feel like a slave.
    • Your gut instinct says something is wrong.
    • If you walk into the situation with a premonition, the situation will get worse.

If you like what you see, write a professional thank-you letter to everyone you spoke to, including the secretary:
  • Send one to each hiring manager individually, which may require more research.
  • Give a personal compliment if it’s appropriate, but keep it formal.
  • Address specific points from the conversation with the hiring manager.
  • Repeat your interest in the position and state a few reasons why you’re a perfect fit for the role.
  • Reference shared interests to show you paid close attention to them in the interview.
  • Share concerns they addressed in the interview and answer them, especially if you couldn’t respond to them during the interview.
  • Send or attach an article or link to the business along with why you think it’s relevant.

If the employer asks for references, don’t assume they’re going to hire you.

Stay in Touch

Try to connect with them on professional social media like LinkedIn.

Share something unrelated to your interview that publicly honors the company.

Recruiting is like dating, and new opportunities always arise, so the interviewing process never ends.

Always express your interest in the position after a week or two if they haven’t communicated a clear decision.

Keep Going!

Since all sorts of issues can arise, do not give up the job search until you’ve signed a job offer and have started your first day of work.

A manager can pass you over for many reasons, so don’t take it personally:
  • They may have removed the job or put it on hold.
  • The job roles may have changed so dramatically that none of their interviews can fit the job.
  • They might not have hired anyone and were looking for free consulting advice from job-seekers.
  • They might have promoted someone internally.
  • The company may have eliminated the whole department around that job.
  • The hiring manager may unfairly discriminate:
    • People tend to unfairly discriminate most heavily while hiring on the basis of race and criminal background.
    • Since you’re worth more than they can ever see, the only way to rise above their evil is to move on.

Don’t beat yourself up about your failures, but learn from them.

Stay enthusiastic and engaged with other interviews and the job hunt.

If you start getting discouraged, find satisfaction elsewhere: life is more than a job.

Eventually, if you keep growing and striving toward every opportunity, you will get a job offer!

This page is Part 5 of Job Searching Made Easy. Part 1 was Preparing for the Search, Part 2 was Making Plans, Part 3 was Image Crafting, and Part 4 was Job Hunting.