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The Art Of Acing The Interview

Written by: Josef Stetter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Josef Stetter

Landing a job is a lot like dating. The right match requires a chemistry and a connection that starts with a conversation and the energy of the interaction. Henry Ford said:” whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t You are right!” Mr. Ford was wise beyond his years, as our attitude is the KEY that unlocks all possibilities. Most studies on women, show that the 2 most important things a woman seeks when meeting a man are confidence and sense of humor. Humor can be learned and applied to personal life experiences and Confidence can be created in an instant by changing your state of mind. To do this; simply BE Yourself!

A woman sitting at table with a piece of paper in front of her

Let your Energy SHINE. Just visualize at least one of your favorite experiences, activities, foods, places, people, or things. RE-live the details as they relate to your 5 senses and let that in. Welcome it! Cherish it! Experience it! and have it in the background before stepping into an interview or approaching a woman. This will create an instant connection and attraction as your energy/aura or ambiance will shine through. Have the confidence you already have the job, and the interview is a formality because you are confident in your abilities to make money, save money or increase the company’s efficiencies.

Take your cues from the interviewer and match the amount of eye contact you make with theirs. This is especially important when answering “difficult or negative” type of questions such as why did you leave your last position, or describe something you think needs improvement? Your honesty will help earn the interviewer’s respect.

TIP: For those who are not comfortable looking directly at someone’s eye, looking right above the eyebrows gives the impression that you are looking at the eyes and offers the same respect that looking someone in the eye does.

Throughout the interview, especially when interviewer is leaning forward, raising voice or showing enthusiasm which demonstrates a key point, re-iterate your interest and excitement by mirroring their behavior. Make comments like this sounds great, I would love to work here, this sounds like a great opportunity or a challenging position which I know I can handle, etc. Showing your interest in the company and position can only improve your chances…

When you come into an interview with the confidence that your employment will result in saving the company time and money, produce better results or increase efficiency which all equate to a higher return on investment for your employer, your interviewer will listen to you from that perspective. Remember no company hires you because they have empty seats, they hire you because you will help the company grow by making money, saving money or increasing efficiency. Your life and your career are YOURS, the only person that has the right to take away anything you have done is you!

The majority of hiring decisions these days are based on soft skills and a personality fit that can fit into the company culture. By standing out as a unique individual people will always associate to you based on what you are worth and the impression you made on them. Talk the talk and walk the walk, you are great at what you do and in this ever-changing competitive market the one that can prove in the interview that their skills both technical and soft would produce the highest return on investment will get the job!

Many interviewers want to see how you react if they can catch you off guard, your body language and your physiology will say a lot more that your answers might.

The interviewer is just not that into you…

A few common trick questions:

1. Tell me about yourself?

This is most useless loaded questions in interviewing that is used way too often. Most people start babbling about their travels, love of music, their family and other subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with the job. If you do get this redundant question, take a deep breath, smile, look the interviewer right in the eyes or above the eyebrows and ask them where they would like you to begin? Whatever they tell you to start with is what is important for the job, otherwise they would not ask you to talk about it.

2. Do you know how to do X or have experience with something?

Most people answer with the autoresponder NO, but I am a quick learner. In 20 years of recruiting, I have never met anyone that says no, and it will take me forever to learn it. This is redundant and by saying NO you have eliminated yourself as a candidate. Yes, one question can cost you the interview! Instead, answer the question like this: I used this tool which is very similar and produced the following results (BE SPECIFIC with actual significance or numbers). I am confident that if hired I can produce similar or better results for your company.

3. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor/coworker/leadership?

This question can be the biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss/coworker/supervisor/company/leadership. If you fall for it and talk about a problem with a former boss, you may well blow the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor…Highlight that you are adaptable and adjust your communication style to match the personality type of those you work with. Focus on results you produced and the contributions you made. Explain that it is ok to have a difference of opinion, but you are there to help the company’s bottom line and always find solutions to work with the team to help the company grow.

4. The way overused and redundant questions on strengths and weaknesses?

A. your Strengths: DO NOT answer I am hard working, dedicated and committed, everyone says this, and the words are subjective. How does one measure hard working. If we compare an accountant that must work 80 hours a week during tax season, what’s hard working 100 hours; to a nurse who worked at the height of the pandemic that had to do 4 hours of overtime as there was a shortage of nurses, is the nurse less hard working than the accountant? ABSOLUTELY NOT, each job has its own stressors, and both are going beyond the call of duty. Give specific examples that differentiate you from your own experiences. For example: I worked until 11 pm for 3 weeks to prepare for a case without any overtime to ensure I had every angle covered. I won the case by a landslide…This demonstrates how hard working and dedicated you are without saying “meaningless” words. The more examples you give the better the impression of you.

B. Your weakness: The design of this question is not to see that you are perfect but rather that a company can give you constructive criticism. I recommend 2 ways of answering this question. The first is with a joke/self-mocking approach. Well, I always thought I was perfect, I am just kidding around, if I had to think of something I would say that I still need to improve my litigation skills as I am still a new lawyer and need experience through a great firm like yours. The 2nd approach is what I call the past, present future rule. Ex: In the past I used to have a problem with time management. I got hired by ABC LLP as a clerk working directly with a partner. Although my plate was always full and more was always added, if my work did not get done the partners work suffered. So, I had to learn how to prioritize and reprioritize all my work. Not only did I receive a glowing reference letter I was offered a job but I decided to move to Toronto. Because of this experience time management is no longer a problem and I can assure you that if I were hired by such a great firm, I would ensure that I am on top of my files and doing whatever it takes to help your company grow by leaps and bounds.

5. What seems to be getting in the way of you having the career of your dreams?

Emphasize that you need a chance to prove what a valuable asset you will be to the company. Talk about your passion for the industry and needing the opportunity for a break and to be taught and to work for an outstanding company such as the one you are interviewing with. You can acknowledge you might be nervous in an interview or that you are new to the field. Your honesty will be appreciated.

I had a candidate who arrived from Israel, fresh off the boat as it were, and had only been in Canada for three weeks. This individual had a master's degree in computer science and 29 diplomas in computers. And I don’t mean some college in the corner, I’m talking Microsoft systems engineer to the highest-level Cisco systems engineer to the highest-level Novell, Nortel, Linux, UNIX and more. His lowest grade was a 92%. One of my clients was a news agency who needed a Linux administrator to work from midnight to 8 AM and they were paying about $40,000 below market. I sent this individual to this company, and they refused to interview him because he did not have Canadian experience. I faxed over his diplomas and emphasized that this guy is considered one of the smartest individuals in the computer world there is. My client refused to even talk to him because he did not have Canadian experience. So, I asked the client if he went to Tim Horton’s and worked for three months would they hire him as a Linux administrator because he now had Canadian experience. They said yes. I fired the client on the spot personally called 12 agencies that specialize in IT and two weeks later found this individual a position that paid over $150,000 a year with a company that understood just how valuable this new immigrant and his knowledge was.

Have you ever stopped to think what about me is Unique or different? How do I leave my mark and stand out above the crowd? Have you ever asked your friends why they like you or why they chose you as a friend?

The answer to any of these questions is what you need to understand to maximize your interview. No one cares about your duties…That’s right don’t list the duties of the job description. An employer knows exactly what the job description is expected to do. For Example: If you are a receptionist and you write on your resume or say in the interview, I answered the phones. I and everyone interviewer will look at you and say: “Really? A receptionist that answers the phones, I did not know that…” Yes, I am sarcastic and when I tell this to people they usually laugh. The reality is that does not tell me why you, what makes you better than other applicants. You need to give me qualitative and quantitative measures that can help me measure how good you really are…

Finding the perfect job is an art with very specific and calculated steps. Every little reaction and behavior count towards the climatic moment when you hear Congratulations You’re Hired! You just landed your dream job here.

Like dating you are not always a match and sometimes need to try a few times to claim victory.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Josef Stetter Brainz Magazine

Josef Stetter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

For nearly 20 years, Josef Stetter has incorporated humour, energy, passion and full self-expression into his personal and professional life.

  • Award Winning & International Best-Selling Author of 11 books.

  • Award Winning Speaker and Guinness World Record Participant

  • Did not know what I want to do when I grow up so switched careers 9 X and jobs 18 times

  • Work in Recruitment. Clients have included: Deloitte & Touche, Aecon Construction, Tata Consulting Services, Canon, Aviva, Skechers Shoes and more!



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