You Should Be Using This Job Interview Technique

Posted June 10, 2014 by
Anna Crowe

Anna Crowe

Every recent college grad is looking to bring home the bacon, but first you need a strategy for a winning job interview. If you’re looking to land your first big gig, you need to approach each interview with a game plan and fearlessness.

You need to come armed and ready with a powerful first impression, but how? It’s simple: tell your story.

Here are my tips for narrating the perfect story:

Practice Makes Perfect

A good friend and negotiation coach at once gave me some excellent personal advice: rehearse your own play. In order to make this interview not seem like you’re heading into major surgery, try rehearsing a Q&A session with your roommate or use the mirror. This type of on-the-spot practice will ensure you nail every interview. This prepping technique may seem silly or even pointless at first but out of desperation, I did it and you should too.

The process helped turn the daunting task of being interviewed into more of a getting-to-know-you storytelling and removed some of the stress attached.  Make notes of what you’d like known about yourself, both pertinent to the company and some personal information.  Nothing too personal, mind you, but consider sharing information such as a hobby or sport of interest.

Don’t Dance Around the Imaginary Mulberry Bush

When asked a direct question, don’t go sidestepping around the mulberry bush in order to avoid looking bad.  This generally leads to the conclusion you’ve misunderstood the question.  The type of question this usually happens with is the one most interviews include regarding a candidate’s weaknesses.

Go ahead and be straightforward and honest. Maybe you have a hard time staying organized but are afraid to admit it.  After all, most job descriptions have a line or two about organizational skills.   By answering the question honestly and following up with ideas or methods that will alleviate the problem, you come across as a problem solver.

Keepin’ It Real

If you have any specific examples of success despite a weakness in prior work situations or school, use them.  Bring your answer to life and display your strengths proudly. This is not the time for the watered-down version of you.

An anecdote such as, “I was a coach’s aid for the school volleyball team and quite scattered at first with stats and names but soon developed a method of keeping up with necessary information using a voice note application on my phone.  By the second game, I had a system that worked well all season.”  Using a personal example makes you more memorable, builds street cred, and makes you more relatable to the one conducting the interview.

Don’t Resort to B.S.

We’ve all either done it or been tempted to do it, but truth be told, it’s foolish to try and B.S. a question you can’t answer.  The one asking can tell you don’t know what you’re talking about by the babble as well as your flushed face and visibly uncomfortable body language, #awkward.

Simply acknowledging you’re at a loss is a much better tactic.  Admit you don’t know or have an answer at this moment but ask for more time to consider a thoughtful response.  This leaves the impression you’re not one to speak before thinking, a good quality in an employee at any level.

I hope these tips help in the process of becoming gainfully employed.  There is something powerful and self gratifying about earning your own way in life.  It makes all those class and lecture hall hours worthwhile.


Anna Crowe is digital marketing strategist with more than 4 years of experience, helping drive engagement for major brands like McDonald’s, staySky Hotels & Resorts, Hearst Magazines, and Ibis World Square Sydney, to name a few. On weekends, she’s either prancing around at music festivals or surfing the dog parks with her basset hound, Norman Larry. Chat with her on Twitter.

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