Interview Strategies

It’s not the questions, it’s the answers.  It’s the building of rapport and understanding your the buyer’s needs.  The buyer, in this case, is the hiring manager.  You’re selling your skills, or at least you should be.

I hear it all the time, “What kinds of questions can I expect during an interview?”  Not sure that that is even the right question.  If it’s a job you really, really want you may want to consider building rapport immediately.

Come into the interview clean, well-dressed, and the picture of organization.  Then build rapport.

If an interviewer opens up questions to you, be careful not to give negative answers.  It’s okay to be cagey with someone you don’t know.  At his point, they have no power or influence over you.  You can at any moment rise up from your seat and walk out.  But if you stay, do not give negative answers.  One, if the interviewer isn’t pleased with you, he’ll use your negative replies to earlier questions and then ask you to elaborate on those negative replies.  Don’t do it.  If he does, it means he’s highlighting the negative and not focusing on your strengths and skills.  And the interview turns into some torturous dodge ball with him throwing hardball from 3′ feet away.

When he raises points you want to seize on or align yourself with, try answering with the phrase “That’s right!” with mild but clearly heard enthusiasm.

When you talk about yourself, also do it with some buoyancy in your voice. Do not adopt a regretful tone.

One guy you want to listen to and read is Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator.  Imagine the pickles he’s been in and the kind of high-intensity conflicts he’s had to work himself out of because someone’s life depended on it.

When you can find the time, read his book.