Blog article cover image "Ace your interview. Get the job offer."

Ace your interview. Get the job offer.

interviewing job search networking Sep 10, 2023

To get job offers, you have to do what the average candidate isn't doing.

 

In today's job market, 'above-average' doesn't cut it either. You have to be exceptional in your interviews to get a job offer. And I want you to be exceptional. Let's dive into how to make it happen.

 

How average candidates approach their interviews 😐

  

Before the interview:

  • Read the job description
  • Browse the company's website
  • Start prepping a day or two before the interview 

 

During the interview: 

  • Provide vague, generic answers
  • Ask generic questions

 

After the interview:

  • Check-in with the recruiter a week after the interview

 

(The interviewers after speaking with an average candidate)

 

How exceptional candidates approach their interviews 🌟

 

(The interviewers, after speaking with an exceptional candidate!!)

 

Before the interview - it's all in your preparation!

  • Responsive communication
    • Respond to communication from the employer quickly and make it easy for them to schedule interviews with you. Being too slow to respond could disqualify you as a candidate. 

 

  • Analyze the job description
    • Fully understand everything in the job description to help you prepare your stories, examples, and responses to questions. If you don't know a term, acronym, or technology - Google it!

 

  • Deeply research the company
    • The Company - understand their mission and core values (highlight things that interest you specifically)
    • The Products - What problems do the company's products solve? Who are their customers? Who are their main competitors?
    • Latest News - Google the company name and filter by news. This will bring up some relevant topics you can discuss during the interview. You could also read the company's blog.
    • Leaders - Who are the CEO and exec team, and what are they saying in the press and on social media?

 

  • Go above and beyond
    • It takes effort to go above and beyond, but you're not scared of effort! And it's how you'll get way ahead of other candidates. A couple of ideas: 
      • Reach out and connect with other people on the team to learn more about the team/company/products. Word will likely get back to the hiring manager that you're taking the initiative. 
      • Download a free trial of their product and/or take an online course. 

 

  • Begin preparing as soon as the interview is scheduled
    • This may be obvious, but I've seen it too many times - don't wait until a day before your interview to begin preparing. No matter how experienced and confident you are, you're not giving yourself a good chance if you don't have adequate time to prepare.

 

  • Research the Interviewer(s) 
    • Review their LinkedIn profiles. See what they post about. Find ways to relate to them and tailor your conversation based on their experience, preferences, etc. 

 

  • Respond to questions with specific examples and stories
    • Don't be a robot and script responses to every possible question. Prepare a few detailed examples/stories that can be used for a variety of questions. You should absolutely have a thoughtful answer to the following: 
      • Why do you want this job at this company?
      • Tell me about yourself.
      • What are your career goals?
      • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
      • Situational questions - "What would you do in this situation...?"… "Tell us about a time when…"
      • Technical questions - For example, if the job description asks for experience with API, Web Development languages, data analysis, etc., be ready for questions related to those topics
    • You will always get curve balls to some difficult questions (especially the technical ones). Don't be afraid to pause, think about your answer, and provide honest thoughts.
    • It's okay to say, "I don't know," or "I don't have specific experience in this area." Being transparent will be appreciated. 
    • Soft skills. If the role requires communication, leadership, or initiative, think of specific examples when you've demonstrated those abilities.

 

  • Ask thoughtful, well-researched questions
    • "I don't have any questions" is the worst thing you can say during an interview. The interviewer will automatically assume you're either uninterested or unprepared. Write down 5-6 thoughtful questions for each interview. The questions should be specific to the person and their role (e.g. different questions for a peer vs. a senior leader). 
    • Instead of asking, "What's the culture like?", you could ask a manager … "Can you tell me about a recent policy or process change that you made based on feedback from the team?" - That will tell you about their culture and will get the manager to think.
    • "I completed [ ] training on your product. What other resources would you recommend I dig into to help me learn more?" This shows you've taken the initiative and want to keep learning more!
    • "I noticed on your company's website that [ ] is a core value. How do you see that value manifest on your Sales team?"

 

  • Pre-interview email
    • The idea behind sending a pre-interview email is that the interviewer will go into the interview with a positive inclination toward you, and only a few candidates do it. Imagine the interviewer showing up to the interview with a smile because they read your thoughtful email - that's a great starting point for an interview. 

 

  • Post-interview email (pre-write this)
    • Many candidates send these. Not many do it right. Make it personalized based on what was discussed in the conversation. And timely: Pre-write the email so you only have to add a few specific points from the discussion. This will allow you to send the email immediately following the interview before they submit their interview rating and decide to give you a "hire" or "no hire."

 

  • Practice, dry-run
    • Practice speaking your examples and stories out loud with a partner, friend, or family member. Or, even better, a mentor/coach who can provide feedback specifically related to the position you're interviewing for. 

 

  • Environment check
    • Eliminate distractions and noise
    • Make sure you have good lighting and a clean background 
    • Test out the virtual meeting software (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) well before the start time 
    • Test your microphone - if they can't hear you well, it will make for a rough interview

 

Day of the interview: 

Breathe easy because you're prepped! You might meditate, do some positive affirmations, listen to good-energy music, or do whatever last-minute things you can do to get your energy level up before you get into the interview.

 

Now, cool as a cucumber, you'll simply execute everything you prepared and enjoy the conversations with your future teammates! 

 

After the interview:

  • Send your pre-written follow-up email (the sooner, the better)
  • Send a polite check-in email if you don't hear back in 4 days. Better yet - send a check-in email with some value-added info, for example, "I was reading this article about [something related to the company's technology], and I thought you might find it interesting. Looking forward to hearing back about the next steps!" 

 

Summary

The better you prepare, the more relaxed you'll be, the better you'll execute, and the more likely you will receive the job offer. 

 

In all my years of hiring, with the candidates who received great job offers, it was always obvious they put in the work to prepare and outshine other candidates.

 

The good news is that anyone can do it. It just takes effort (you have that!) and a process (now you have that too, above!). I'm rooting for you!

 

What else have you done to prepare for interviews that have worked for you? I'd love to hear about your interview experiences!

  


 

For additional interview tips, check out this video on 10 Things You Should Avoid Sharing In A Job Interview:

 

 


 

P.S. Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. Job Accelerator Program: This comprehensive program gives you the step-by-step roadmap and live coaching that has helped hundreds of people land six-figure jobs quickly
  2. Personalized 1:1 Coaching – We'll work together to give you an accelerated job landing strategy. 

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