You are about to discover 2 of the most important tactics top performers do to master the interview.
Without a doubt, interviews are tough and I’ve seen talented individuals lose great job opportunities because they simply aren’t great at interviewing. Books upon books have been written on how to successfully interview, but it’s not as complicated as it seems. Really, there’s only 2 things you need to consider in order to master the interview.
Let’s start with the basics:
1. Know the Wrong and Right Answers
Did you know that every interview question has a right or wrong answer?
When was the last time you gave a 100% honest answer to the question “what’s your biggest weakness?” The wrong answer is to give away a personal character flaw that paints you in a negative light and instantly provides a reason not to hire you. The right answer is to give an example of a past negative trait and explain how you are actively working to improve yourself. You think you’re not technically savvy? Explain how you’re taking online courses and reading up introductory coding books to show your dedication of turning this weakness into a strength.
One of the most important things about interview questions is to know the wrong answers.
For example, why did leave your last job? The wrong answer is to talk negatively about your past company or coworkers because it portrays you in a negative light and implies a bad attitude. For every question, there’s a wrong answer that can cripple you. Even at the end when they ask you “do you have any questions for me?” The wrong answer is “no”, because it implies that you haven’t researched the company enough and will take any job the employer offers.
For my recommendation, google common answers to interview questions or visit the career section of your local bookstore or library, so you can come into an interview fundamentally prepared.
2. Follow up After Rejection
If you do this one thing, you will have a better job, a higher income, and a better career. The fact is, you will often go into interviews making the same mistakes over and over again. In an interview, you do some things right and some things wrong; but the trick is, you have to know EXACTLY what you’re doing right and doing wrong.
After being rejected because of a so-so interview, pick up the phone, call the interviewer, and repeat the following words:
“Good afternoon Mr. Employer, this is John Doe calling. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview me. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get the job but I understand that I simply wasn’t the right fit. Mr. Employer, I was wondering if I could ask for your help. I was really interested in working for your company and really want to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes in my next interview. Because I want to better prepare myself, it’d be extremely helpful if you could elaborate on the things I did right, things I did wrong, or things that I could improve on?”
9/10 times, the recruiter or hiring manager will spend some time analyzing your interview and tell exactly what you did right and wrong. This little exercise will be life changing because you’ll know exactly what to do and what not to do for the next interview.
Think about it, not making this phone call is like going to school, taking tests, and never bothering to find out what mistakes you made. The interview is a test, so pick up the phone and find out how you scored.
And if you get rejected again, repeat the process, it can only help. It’s called failing; analyze what went wrong and then try, try, try again – this isn’t a new groundbreaking strategy, it’s a proven fundamental equation for success.
Are you ready?
For your next interview, make sure you are prepared, by researching the company and knowing the right and wrong answers to the most common interview questions. Do your best and after a week or two, call back and find out if you got the job.
If you didn’t, thank the person for their time and hang up. It’s best to call back a day or two after as you just got rejected and it’s a little awkward for both parties to talk (this is important). Call back and ask for some advice on how to improve for your next interview. After every rejection, you’ll become better and better at interviews and eventually, with enough hard work and perseverance, you’ll land the job of your dreams.