The Pulse #04: How to Win Interviews

The Pulse #04: How to Win Interviews

Read time: 1 minute and 45 seconds

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If you’ve ever prepared for an interview, you know that there are endless potential questions or topics to navigate.

Some are cliché or even a bit bizarre:

  • “What’s your biggest weakness?”
  • “Sell me this pen.”
  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “What do you know about our company?”
  • “If you could be a superhero, who would you pick and why?”

Some are more thoughtful:

  • “Based on what you’ve heard so far, why do you think you are the right person for the job?”
  • “Describe your biggest professional failure and what you learned from it.”
  • “Explain something to me that you are an expert in but is complicated to most.”

The list is endless and interview questions vary greatly depending on:

  • the person you are interviewing with (some people are great interviewers, some are terrible, some are driven by ego, some are more nervous than you are, etc.)
  • the company you are interviewing at (some cultures are super conservative, some are super liberal, most are somewhere in between)
  • the role you are interviewing for (career level and function will dictate the nature of the questions thrown your way)

In my experience, most questions are designed to answer the following:

  • “How will you make/save money for my company?”
  • “Will you mesh with our existing team? Will we get along with you?
  • “What is your communication style?”
  • “What is your approach to ideation and problem-solving?”
  • “What are your professional goals? What truly motivates you and can my company provide you with that?”
  • “If I hire you, are you likely to continue your winning track record here? Conversely, are there any negative patterns that you may continue here?”
  • “If I offer you this position, how likely are you to accept? How likely are you to stay here? What are your deal breakers? How can I create the best possible win-win offer?”

In Conclusion

Interviews are ultimately a sales process (and hopefully, not an interrogation!). Both parties have needs and the interview should be a process of discovery, communicating solutions, and establishing expectations.

Win more job offers by:

  • learning to read between the lines
  • uncovering the true motivation behind each interview question
  • formulating answers that truly address these motivations

The Pulse is a bi-weekly newsletter providing 1 tip, observation, or tidbit related to all things job searching and careers.

The Pulse will come out every other Sunday evening and will generally take less than 3 minutes to read.

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