4 Steps To Crushing an Interview

by / ⠀Career Advice / January 18, 2014


The job hunt is nothing short of exhausting.  From unanswered emails to unopened resumes, it’s hard not to feel discouraged (and we’re guessing that the lacking paycheck isn’t helping your self-esteem).

The clouds may seem to break when you’re invited in for an interview.  The problem is that most people (perhaps unknowingly) are cloaked in that musty smell of defeat that comes from being unemployed; and despite your straight smile and firm handshake, your interviewer can pick up on that energy.

Read on to not only refresh your efforts, but to gain the motivating tools that will crush your next interview.  With a twist in perception and some additional effort, you can gain a competitive edge…and hopefully land that new job.

Attitude Adjustment

While being unemployed leaves you feeling anxious and a tad bit depressed, on your interview you’ve got to flip those emotions on their head.

Prep the night before by having gas in your car, directions ready and your interview clothes ironed and hung.  Allow yourself to ease into your interview day with as little stress as possible and take the time to have a protein packed breakfast for proper fuel.

Even if it is not your natural tendency to be hyper and energized, pump yourself up pre-interview.  Reinforce to yourself that you’re going to “attack” this interview by visualizing it going well in your head and playing energizing music in the car.  You’ve got about 20 minutes to present yourself in this amped up, energized light so push to bring those qualities forward.

Show Off Your Smarts

You know what else you’ll be doing the night before your interview? Research; devote an hour out of your day to preforming some quality research on the company and the position for which you are applying.

Start with the website but then go further with customer reviews and related articles.  See if you can get insight into the CEO’s mission and the company’s aimed direction.  When the inevitable “Why do you want to work for us?” question gets cast your way you’ll be able to show off your smarts in an admirable light.

Be a Reporter, Not a Robot

Towards the end of the interview when the hiring manger asks, “Do you have any questions?” most candidates shake their head, shake a hand and aim to get out of the hot seat before their sweat marks start to show.  But not so fast!

Oh course you don’t want to sit around and chat all day, but you shouldn’t be in a hurry either.  You’ve got to make a connection if you want to leave a lasting impression so start asking questions that will get a relaxed, insightful conversation going.  Ask them what they like about the company; ask them what qualities they hope the new person will bring to the position, etc.

In short – show your interest and your human side by making the interview a two way street. If you can get your interviewer to let their guard down then you’ve won half the battle.

The way you make someone feel will aid him or her in their forming an opinion of you.  If you make them feel thoughtful and excited of the possibilities, then you can match your face to those positive emotions.

Turn In Your Homework

If you want that A+ gold star job that’s on the line, then do your homework pre-interview. Now your “work” will be specific to the job that you are going for, but the goal is the same: show off your skills in real time.

For example, if you’re going for a blogging job, draft up a mock piece.  If you want a customer service position, look up online customer complaints about the company, and draft out ways you would handle the current, common dilemmas.  The key is to make your effort tangible, something you can leave behind and use as the cherry on top of a great interview.

Image handing something like this to an interviewer while saying, “I am really interested in this job; these are just some ideas I had, they outline what I plan to bring to the position.”  Talk about WOW!  Not everyone will make an extended effort like this, which automatically makes you stand out and increases your chances of hiring success.

Kelly Gregorio writes about career trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.