You know you need to make a great impression on your job interview—but how do you do it?
Here are two quick ideas:
- Set hooks — A hook makes you memorable (Chip and Dan Heath might call it sticky). When an employer is interviewing a lot of candidates, you need to stand out. According to Jeff Haden, “Your hook could be clothing (within reason), or an outside interest, or an unusual fact about your upbringing or career. Hooks make you memorable and create an anchor for interviewers to remember you by—and being memorable is everything.” You might be “the guy who did an internship in Estonia” or “the girl who started a rabbit yarn business.” Whatever—but come up with something that helps define you.
- Ask what they expect in five years — Interviewers commonly ask, What do you expect to do in five years? So turn the question around: “What does a successful candidate in this position look like in five years?” If you’re hired, this will give you a clear idea about what you’ll need to do to succeed. If, on the other hand, they can’t give you a good answer, you may find yourself struggling in the organization—simply because they don’t know what they want.
Thanks to Nate Officer and Andrew Beatty, who just completed the AD292 Business Communication class I taught this fall. They raised these fine ideas in class.