10 Steps to Ace Your Next Interview

As one wise recruiter once told me, "You can have a B resume which may open the door but you must have an A interview to walk through it."

Let me share ten basic elements that consistently come up in our interview reviews that if addressed would make a world of improvement in your ability to interview and drive the right message:

  1. Preparation: Know the five top critical elements of the opportunity and be able to address them with current experience and success. The five top criteria is the top five things they're looking for in their next candidate. Next understand the three other critical elements which are organization, position and location. Have specific information in each one as to your interest. The more specific the higher the impact.
  2. Mirroring: A good interview is like a dance, both partners are in sync with each other. Mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter.
  3. Listening to understand: We test this in every interview we do and the majority of people fail. We are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question.
  4. Introduce yourself with confidence.
  5. Take the lead: As you enter the interview, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. Demonstrate your interpersonal skills and give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.
  6. Put together an effective two-minute presentation which includes three key components to drive your message as well as connect with your audience. Those components are humanization, elevator, and differentiation/value statement.
  7. Understand what a real achievement is and present that way.
  8. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought.
  9. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview.
  10. Brand yourself so that your message is consistent.

I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. Historically, most people have a starting grade in their ability to interview probably somewhere around a B- to a C+ through no fault of their own. We just don't do well on things we don't practice consistently. But imagine if you took the time to develop a well-executed interview. What a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!

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