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Job Interview Questions

Remember, when you are called into a face-to-face interview, you are among the top 5% of the applicant pool, there is no reason why you can’t win the interview from that perspective.

Three typical job interview questions that everyone should be prepared to answer:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. Can you take me through your background?
  3. Why should I hire you?

New Job Interviewing Strategy That Wins Offers Every Time

After memorizing how you are going to answer these three typical job interview questions the subsequent interviewing tactics follow a conversational interviewing approach that will help you win every interview you go on (these tactics have been proven to be successful for over 5,000 job seekers).

I don’t teach my clients to memorize long lists of job interview questions (who can even remember a ten-item grocery list) but I guarantee, if you follow the reflective job interview techniques below you will have:

  1. Much less interviewing fear
  2. Be able to confidently direct employers to your strengths
  3. Most importantly win more interviews!

Performance Interviewing Strategies


Reflective Interviewing Strategies

Authors of situational interview books lay out hundreds of questions you could be asked in an interview and spend hundreds of pages explaining how to handle these questions.  The problem is, in the real world, most interview questions don’t conform to the hermetically sealed situations the author uses as examples, nor can most people memorize hundreds of questions along with “right” answers to each one.  The truth of the matter is most of us can’t remember a ten item grocery list.  In addition, employers, human resource managers and recruiters constantly change their evaluation tactics, leaving many just-read examples stale before they see the light of day in a real interview.


My interviewing techniques make the case that the traditional interviewing strategy, what I call “performance” interviewing needs to be replaced with “Bulls-Eye” interviewing strategies.  In order to accomplish the change, I need to outline what I mean by the “performance” interviewing approach.


Performance Job Interview Questions

When a “performer” is offered the opportunity to interview, the following sequence of activities typically occurs.  First, since the Internet makes information easy, free and accessible, they go into hyperactive research mode.   By the time they reach the interview, performers generally possess a detailed job description of the position, may have talked with a friend who works at the company, studied the home page of the company website, and read the annual report.

They know how many employees work at the target company, who the founder was, what the company’s main business divisions specialize in and possibly, the forecast for earnings, outstanding debt ratios, and anything else that is publicly available to read on the Internet.

Why do performers put so much effort into the pre-interview research?  Because that is what they are told to do at school, by friends, by mentors, in articles by career coaches and it just makes them feel active and engaged in the opportunity.  Their mantra is “research shows that you care about the opportunity.”  And, like most things in life, this idea has some value to it.

Who can blame a job-candidate who wants to know about his or her prospective employer?  However, this newly gathered information could be used in the wrong way, to where it is dangerous and detrimental to your goal of winning a job offer.

job interview question

Wrong Job Interview Question Research 

Right about now, you should be asking yourself, “What is the wrong way to use data in the interview?” The answer is fairly simple.  The wrong use of pre-interview research occurs when this data leads you to make assumptions.

These assumptions become your mental dartboard that represents what you think are the company’s expectations and needs.   For performers, the dartboard is the target they will have their darts at (i.e. answers during the interview) and the darts are the facts they gathered in the hope of impressing their potential employer.

The darts are statements that performers plan to make relative to how they think their profile fits the potential job duties.  The dartboard’s bulls-eye is what the “performer” sees as the “sweet spot” of their work history and skills intersecting the company’s description of the right person for the opening.

As soon as they hear the first question, “So tell me about yourself,” performers are primed to answer based on what they have gathered from their due-diligence research, their friends’ advice, and what they hope the interviewer wants to hear.

When the interview begins, sure enough, they start throwing darts all over the dartboard.  Therein lies the dilemma.  A predetermined dartboard that a performer constructs using the stray data they gather is not the company’s dartboard.  What this means is that the performer is throwing at the wrong target.

But what’s really sinister about the “performer” interviewing strategy is they think they have done a good job when the interview is over.  Since they’ve studied the company thoroughly, memorized the mission statement, learned the corporate history, read the founder’s bio, and researched the job description,  It’s obvious, they feel, that the recruiter will take this as clear indication of interest in the position and make them the obvious choice.


Don’t Sing The Wrong Tune…

Another way to fully understand the dilemma of the performer is to compare the interview to that of an audition for a major off-Broadway musical.  Let’s say for the sake of this illustration, that all of your life you studied to be an opera singer.

Now a production company is in your town and there is an open casting call for a main character in the musical.  You decide to try out and show up the next day, wait your turn, and when it’s finally time to show them what you can do, you are eager, excited, and motivated!  Its now your turn and the casting director tells you to start. You begin singing an Italian aria with all the gusto you can muster and it’s the best you ever sang in your life.

At the end of your performance, all you hear is “Next!” However, you won’t go that easily, so you shout, “What do you mean ‘next,’ that’s my best performance.”  That is when you learn that the part you were testing for is in a country western musical.  What happened is that you sang beautifully, it’s just that you sang the wrong song.    “Performance interviewing” is like that, you are convinced you know what your audience wants to hear, and begin to force feed it to them whether they like it or not.


Hit The Employer’s Bulls-Eye Needs In The Interview Every Time

“Performance interviewing” is not what I want to teach you.  In fact, I wish I had an erase button to make you forget how to be an interviewing “performer.”  The problem with performance interviewing is demonstrated by a simple exercise.

Draw a homemade dartboard with a small bulls-eye in the center.  Now take a pen, and without looking at your creation, in other words close your eyes, start to tap the dartboard with your pen. Remember; don’t look at the dartboard when you tap.  What happens when you attempt to hit the bulls-eye?

You leave dots all over your homemade dartboard but miss the bulls-eye.  For the sake of this analogy, each tap of the pen, and the resulting dot, represent your guesses at what the interviewer wants to hear.

The reason why most performers feel they did well in the interview is revealed when a husband, wife, mom or dad asks how the interview went.  Typically, a “performer” will say something like, “I think it went pretty well” after all they hit the dartboard nearly every time.

But not once did the “performer” hit the recruiter’s bulls-eye.  A performer can never hit the bulls-eye because he/she is throwing darts at the wrong dartboard – theirs, not the recruiters.  If you don’t hit the recruiter’s bulls-eye, you’re just another candidate who is missing the mark.

Now, what happens if you could look directly at the bulls-eye every time you move your pen forward?  Of course, you’d never miss hitting the bulls-eye because it is in plain sight.  So, the remedy is not to throw darts blindly at a hidden target, or for that matter, the wrong target, but to have a way for you to uncover the exact target during the interview.  In this way, each dart you throw hits the right bulls-eye every time.

Since performance interviewing is by far and away the default strategy that most interviewees use during an interview, I really want to hammer home the point that it is counterproductive, inefficient and potentially damaging to your success at winning job offers.

An interviewer’s bulls-eye is represented by their needs from their perspective.  Unless you are a mind reader, you will never be able to fully predetermine their needs by studying a corporate website, annual report or set of press releases to know a hiring manager’s specific expectations.  Sure, you can gain a general understanding of the company or division or a business unit but not the interviewer’s key hot points from their perspective.

The only way you’re going to hit the interviewer’s bulls-eye need, is during the interview itself.

Hitting The Interviewer’s Bulls Eye Need – Creating The “Halo Effect”

Finding the hiring manager’s hot-button bulls-eye needs that must be pinned down in order to win an offer requires the use of what I call “reflective questioning techniques (RQT).   Reflective questioning is a strategy to draw the key needs out of the interviewer during the interview.

In other words, you allow the hiring manager to draw the dartboard.  Once you learn their need (s) from their perspective, you can keep hitting that bulls-eye like a bell, … ding, ding, ding…  If you use reflective questioning techniques correctly, you will create what I call the “halo effect,” In other words, to the recruiter, you will look like you are an angel who dropped out of heaven.


Performance Interviewing

Problems for Performers

  1. Guessing the interviewer’s need.
  2. Hitting the wrong bulls-eye
  3. Appearing as a “know it all candidate”.
  4. Lights, camera, action, stage fright.
  5. Memorize lists of questions.

Bottom Line Performers believe they are shrewd enough to pre-determine what an interviewer wants to hear.  They feel their experience, work-history and pre-interview research will win the job offer.  Performers often miss the bulls-eye and loose the job offer.


Reflective Questioning

Benefits for Reflectors

  1. Knowing exactly the need.
  2. Never miss the hiring manager’s bulls-eye need.
  3. Appearance of a caring and considerate candidate.
  4. Confidence you know you don’t have to figure it all out before the interview.

Bottom Line Reflectors are conscious that they can’t guess accurately enough to convince the interviewer that they are the best fit for the job opening.  They know that during the interview they will uncover the hot-button bulls-eye needs and direct the recruiter’s attention to how they can solve these needs.  Reflectors go into interviews with the humble attitude of learning needs and demonstrating how they can meet the need. They win 75-90% of the job offers.

Learn The Full Reflective Job Interview Questioning Tactics (Click Here)

If you can do four things excellently you should win the job interview 75-85% of the time.

Examples Of Reflective Interview Job Questions

1. What is the main focus, mission or direction that this department is taking?

2. What do you consider outstanding qualities?

3. When will I be evaluated on my performance?

4. What are the main responsibilities of this position?

5. What can one do to get recognition or demonstrate capability?

6. Is a new project in the works or new area that we are trying to develop?


Use Your Resume As A Script

How Do You Do That?

• You don’t need to be an improvisational genius or extemporaneous speaker to convey intelligence in the interview.  Consider the resume as your script, what you need to do is adhere to it.  If we define intelligence as concise, focused and direct communication skills, then it is probable that the resume you possess is written in that manner.

Your job then becomes an exercise in connecting the dots of the various parts of the resume, if you accomplish this goal you will come across as a polished professional.

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