How to Ace a Job Interview


My notes from Penelope Trunks’s webinar on perfecting a job interview. Overall, really informative session - I learned a number of tips.
  1. The interview is for getting the person to like you. It’s not about your skill set, they’ve already screened for that via resume. This is Popularity 101.
  2. Tell good stories. This makes you memorable and relate-able to the interviewer.
  3. Ask your questions at the beginning of the interview like: What are you looking for in someone who would do this job well? What does success in this job look like? That way you can tailor all your answers to what they’re looking for.
  4. Every question has a right answer. Answers have two pieces - answering the question; telling a story. Memorize the right answer for obvious questions. Show self-knowledge and honesty. i.e. - What is your weakness? <— You should know this about yourself as well as your strengths. Tell me an obstacle you’ve overcome. <— Bottomline, tell them what you’ve learned from it. Why do you want to leave your current job? <— I achieved X at this job, I wanted to achieve Y, so I’m interested in doing Y at this job.
  5. At the end of the interview ask, “Do you have any reservations about hiring me for this job? I really like this position and think I’d be a good fit for it.”
  6. Never give a number for salary. They treat you like a commodity. Just don’t answer. Make them give it first. You don’t benefit if you do. Say: “I’m open about the range, what do you value this position at.” 2nd time - Side step again. Explain why you’d be good at the position. 3rd time - “You know what, I’m not going to give you a number, you’re going to need to give me a range.”

Bonus: Best Career Advice Ever!

One of my favorite career articles is this piece from the Havard Business School which basically states that people usually prefer working with others who are likable fools over those who are competent jerks. The psych major in me is all gooey eyed over all the behavioral irrationality, but the careerist in me just loves how sound and practical the advice of getting along with your co-workers is. I know it’s completely dorky, but I genuinely believe in the scientific process.

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Meet the Author

Hi, I am Julie.
Sometimes Jules Juke.
This is where I ramble, reflect, and refocus.