Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.

I have written extensively on the topic of acing job interviews. Many practical tips for reading (and demonstrating) key job skills can be found on my blog. Ultimately, the key to interviewing is this: you need to demonstrate both functional ability and social ability. Not just one or the other, but both. In other words, you have to match what you say with both how you say it and how you show it.

For example, if I tell you I’m a high energy guy, but I’m slouching and yawning when I say it, something won’t sit right with you. Similarly, if I tell you that my strength is in focusing for extended periods to solve tough problems, but during the interview I’m continuously bouncing from topic to topic, that focus comment won’t jibe for you. Everything about you in the interview—what you say, what you do, how you say things—has to be in concert.

If you read the blog posts above, you’ll find tips on how to create this type of congruency for some of the most important job skills employers look for, including loyalty, passion, ability to handle ambiguity, and decisiveness. Here, I’m going to give you 1 overriding tip that will help you plan for and ace any interview.

This tip is so simple, most people overlook it. And it’s so true, as soon as you read it, you’ll get it. Ready? Here it is…

Seiden’s 1 Tip for Acing a Job Interview:

  1. Think about the next conversation you want to have after the interview with the employer, and conduct yourself during the interview in a way that sets up that subsequent conversation.

What most people forget when stepping into a job interview is that the interview is not just a screening process but also a social interaction that has to flow smoothly. How do we forget this?! We go through the same exact process when it comes to dating, and in that area, we are acutely aware of the importance of the social element of the interaction! How many people do you know who have been on dates and then come back and said something to the effect of, “Smart, good looking, reasonably successful… and totally annoying.”

When we forget that prospective employers are going through the same type of thought process in our job interview, we tend to talk too much about our skills and abilities in an effort to prove ourselves. Which is like going on a date and talking about ourselves. Is there a guy on the planet who hasn’t made this mistake? Brutal.

Just like on a date, solve the other person’s problem. Don’t hide your skills, but let them draw things out. And while the other side is asking about you, what do you do? Sit and wait for the next question? No! You return volley and ask about his or her needs! You offer to help! You swap stories!

You make it easy for them to say, “I’m glad we met. I want to see you again.”


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2 responses to “Interviewing”

  1. Beverly Lorig says:

    Like the cluster concept. Students take the shot gun approach and murder the interviewer with thousands of unconnected points. The interviewer leaves in pain and doesn’t really know what hit him/her.

  2. MH says:

    Jason Seiden And Willy Franzen I want to thank you for showing me how *job getting* is possible. I’m still figuring out what exactly I’m going for but as a result of going through these 5 short lessons I feel inspired and like I can make something happen. Good job, you two. Definitely looking forward to the full-course… (as soon as I can find the cash- which I’ve no problem with because I know that, like you said, this will cover itself w/ A JOB!)

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