Interview Skills and Tricks

Interview Skills and Tricks
– by Coach Colle Davis

The person who interviews you for a prospective job may have been through their typical interview process hundreds of times while you may have a couple of dozen interviews in your entire working career. The interviewer is far better prepared and holds all the cards, but wait, they are still human, and they can be influenced and yes, manipulated.

Coach’s Note: If the word manipulate holds a negative connotation for you, let me explain the importance of understanding it’s use during a job interview and hopefully, you’ll see the logic in my premise.

Please be aware, we are all manipulated by media and advertising every day, and we spend our lives manipulating others in order to coerce or sell them on your point of view. Manipulation (blatant or subtle) is natural tendency we all use on some level to get our outcomes.

The word manipulate is not a dirty word. Instead, the word describes the process for presenting an argument or point-of-view so you can get what you want from an interaction.

Having stated my case for the word manipulate, let’s continue toward the steps for compelling an interviewer to hire you for their company.

Clarity followed by deliberate behavior
are the two most powerful tools there are for change.

Step one.

Answer these questions:

  • Describe in clear, concrete terms exactly what you want for an outcome from the interview.
  • Do you want to move up to the next level of interviews?
  • Do you want the job?
  • Do you know the job prerequisites that have been defined by the company?
  • Why are you interviewing for this job?

When you have defined your specific outcome/goal, then the work begins.


Step two.

Research the company/organization to see if you want to work for them.

  • Do they produce or support products or services you believe in and can back?
  • What benefits do they offer?
  • What do you know about the Chief Executive Officers in the company?
  • Or, do you simply need a job?

Step three.

  • When you are comfortable with the company, research the person/people doing the interviewing. The social media profiles are valuable and give you more information than you can use.

Step four.

  • Clean up your social media presence. They will check yours in-depth, so be careful and be honest. Your social media needs to reflect your profile in the business world. The cleanup process is valuable for your career and your wellbeing.
  • The interview itself: Dress one level above the expected. Think of it this way, what would you wear when attending your brother’s best friend’s wedding. You are not the main attraction, but you still want to be noticed. What you wear is for the interviewer, not you. The clothing adds to your resume.
  • If offered a handshake, match their pressure and duration. Do not power handshake! It is rude, crude and a turnoff.
  • Match the interviewer in as many ways as possible to establish rapport. If you attended the same school, or you are members of similar organizations, mention it. This information is often on their LinkedIn profile and other social media.

Here are two different approaches to consider:

  1. Start the conversation by thanking them for scheduling the time for you. Be careful and avoid thanking them for interviewing you. The time is a neutral opening and a thank you is appropriate. They invited you for the interview, it is their job.
  2. Compliment them as early in the conversation as possible. Examples include thanking them for the great directions after entering the building, their promptness in seeing you, their preparation and understanding of what you bring to the table.
  3. Yes, write them a quick thank you note or email, either is appropriate.

Be honest. Answer their questions using this formula; make three or four statements and then ask them a question. The question will along the lines of, “Does that make sense? Or, did I answer your question?” Then let them answer. Giving them the time to answer will reveal more of what they are looking for to fill the position.

When the interview is over, there is often a question such as, “Is there anything else you can tell me?”  Do not answer that question. Respond with; “No, (pause) thank you again for your time and consideration. Goodbye for now.”

For more in-depth techniques for acing an interview contact me. Colle Davis 804 467-1536 (EST). Your first session is FREE. If you find value in your time with me, I offer added support during your career transition. This risk-free offer for learning interview techniques is held in a relaxed setting in Richmond, Virginia, with a cup of coffee, from Colle Davis, an Executive Coach with a thirty-year track record of success. Virtual sessions are also available.

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