So your resume got you in the door. But how do you sell yourself in the interview? Guest career coach Merryn shows you how to ace an interview with one helpful secret.
By: Merryn Roberts-Huntley | Owner of Made to Hire
Here’s something not so secret: most people suck at being interviewed.
Why? Because they don’t approach it strategically.
Here’s what most people’s job interview prep looks like:
- Think of Potential Questions.
- Try to Come Up with Answers for Those Questions.
Researching common interview questions is a great idea, but interview preparation is more than a guessing game. Your resume has made the cut, now you need to stand out as not only a qualified candidate, but the best candidate for the job.
How to Ace an Interview
Here’s my secret that will make sure you ace the interview:
Read the job description and think about your background, then boil it down to the 5-10 reasons why you’ll get the job.
Let’s say you’re applying for a Director of Sales job. Some of these 5-10 reasons you’ll get the job could include:
- I welcome new ideas and cultivate effective teams within small companies like this one.
- I built several new, thriving company relationships in my past position, just as this company needs to.
- I take initiative and work well under pressure, just as the job description asks.
From there, your challenge is to make sure those reasons come across in the interview. Most people don’t do this, and that’s why most people don’t get hired.
Over the course of the interview, your goal should be to fit in as many of your 5-10 key selling points / stories as possible. Don’t just answer the interview questions with whatever examples you think of first.
For example, if you’re asked about a situation in which you worked on a project with a tight deadline, there are probably several examples you COULD choose, but you SHOULD choose the one that most closely relates to the job you want.
Let’s apply this to the example of that Director of Sales position again…
If you’re asked about your greatest strength, you could say it’s that you are a tough negotiator, a strong relationship builder, or have a great work ethic. You should say it’s that you develop amazing teams because the job description mentioned that several times.
Show the Interviewer Why You’ll Succeed
You will only have so many opportunities to share your story, so you need to use those chances wisely and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job. (Not just a job, but this job.)
This interviewing secret will help the interviewer see you succeeding in the job you’re interviewing for.
In past interviews, I would write my 5-10 things using key words (just 1 word for each) in very small writing on the top right corner of the copy of my resume that would be in front of me during the interview. Every so often I’d glance at the list to see how I was doing at checking them off and ultimately getting the job.
Try this approach in your next interview. You’ll be surprised at how great you feel on the way out. You’ll never have that, “I wish I had said….’ feeling again. I guarantee this strategic approach to interviewing will help you win!
Still not getting to the interview stage? Your resume is likely the problem. Schedule a free call with us to find out how our professional writers can rework your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to land you that dream job.
About the Author
Merryn Roberts-Huntley runs Made To Hire, a career coaching company that helps people get noticed, get hired, make more money, and reach their career goals faster. With almost 20 years of business experience and 10 years of career coaching, she knows how to help people land their dream job. Learn more at madetohire.com.