How to Crush an Interview

We’ve all been there. Minutes before a job interview we are suddenly intimately aware of our body. We can feel the thump of our racing heart. The sweat glands opening up on our hands. The nervous energy making our toes tap rapidly in our shoes.

That nervous anticipation is a great feeling. It means this interview means something to you.

Since it means something to you, then we should make sure you do the best you can to crush the interview (in a good way).

Let’s break this down into 4 sequential steps.

  1. Send a pre-interview video
  2. Plan to talk less than the other person
  3. Trial close
  4. Follow-up and seek feedback

Note: Preparation is at the core of each step. Your preparation will provide confidence, which will exude throughout the interview.

1. Send a pre-interview video

Why?

This will differentiate you amongst the other prospects. No one else is sending a video of themselves. It will showcase that you’re comfortable in front of a camera in a world full of virtual meetings.

An additional benefit is you’ll fast forward the conversation within the interview such that more time can be spent on the meat of the conversation vs. introducing yourself.

How?

Use your phone or your computer and record a 2 minute overview that includes who you are, what you can bring to the role and why you’re interested in the company. Share this with the interviewer 48 hours prior to your interview.

2. Plan to talk less than the other person

Why?

We humans love to talk. We love to hear ourselves talk. We walk away feeling positive from most conversations where we have talked a majority of the time.

An interview is no different. We should ignore the preconceived notion that the interviewee should be talking a majority of the time.

If the interviewer is talking the most, 2 things happen. (1) You (the interviewee) gets to know more about the role and the company and (2) the interviewer is more likely to walk away from the conversation feeling positive about the interview.

How?

Ask open questions

Actively listen

Ask more open ended questions

3. Trial Close

Why?

Because why not? You’re there to land the job, right? You came in not having the job. The worst case scenario is you leave without having the job (a.k.a. the same spot you were in). So, go ask for the job! The worst case scenario is they say you’re not the right fit and you leave the same way you came in.

How?

Prepare your close by writing down the question(s) you plan to ask. Practice your close in front of a mirror.

For those untrained, a trial close will be the hardest and most unnatural portion of the interview. It’s also the portion with the most upside.

A great close could be the following open (part 1) / closed (part 2) combo:

Part 1: “What hesitations do you have about me being successful in this role?”

Possible Answer: “We don’t have any hesitations at this time. We like your experience and you seem to be a good culture fit.”

Part 2: “Great. Do you have any hesitations moving me to the next step in the process?”

Possible Answer: “No, we look forward to moving you to the next phase. We will reach out to you by the end of the week.”

Boom!

4. Follow-up and seek feedback

Why?

We follow-up because people are busy. Your interview was not their only priority of the day. This is your opportunity to recap the conversation and put you top of mind.

It’s important to also use the follow-up as an opportunity to seek feedback as this is the most direct way to improve and learn. Seeking feedback will also signal to the interviewer that you have a growth mindset – something highly valued by any organization.

How?

3 steps:

  1. Immediately (same day) send a hand written letter (yes, ink and paper) thanking them for their time and mention something positive about the interview.
  2. Immediately (same day) send an email thanking them and asking for feedback. “What constructive feedback do you have for me?”
  3. Every 24-48 hours, send a follow-up email, text or call until you have a next step.

There you have it. Execute these 4 steps and let me know how it goes!

Now, go crush it!