3 Interview Tips For Success

In my last article, Finding A Job Is A Job, I went over helpful tips that will guarantee success when job hunting.

If you follow the advice in that article, then I am sure you will be receiving phone calls soon. This is exactly why we need to be prepared for a phone or in-person interview.

After all, you never know when an employer is going to call you back for an interview.

Your Resume is Qualified – Are You?

If you are receiving a phone call or even an interview opportunity, then that means you are already qualified for the role, on paper at least.

To clarify, your resume, education, and experience are worthy of employment for that specific job when you get a phone or in-person interview. Now, it is absolutely critical that your resume reflects the truth. In other words, DO NOT LIE on your resume.

DO NOT – lie on your resume, you will only waste your time and potential employers’ time.

DO – elaborate on details of tasks you were responsible for at work.

There is a huge difference between blatantly lying on your resume and embellishing one of your responsibilities. It is ok to say that you “managed customer expectations and operational flow of customers in order to optimize revenue.” Instead of “Hosted at a restaurant.”

Speaking about a resume that truly reflects your life is much easier than weaving a complicated web of lies. Trust is fragile. Once you are caught telling even a small lie, you lose all credibility and can no longer be trusted.

Learn how to elaborate on true details instead of putting lies on your resume and you will do a much better job in your next interview.

STAR Technique – Situation/Task/Action/Result

Besides honesty, employers are looking for people that are able to communicate at a high level. Typically, employers will ask very basic questions in order to gage how employable an individual is.

A few examples of common interview question/statements are:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Why did you want to work in this field?
  3. Why this company?
  4. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  5. Tell me about a time when….
  6. Where do you see yourself in 1/3/5/10 years?

No matter what question you are being asked, you can always answer the question by remembering the STAR Technique. STAR means that every question should be answered by explaining the situation (or issue), the task(s) at hand, the actions you took to resolve the situation, and the results of the actions you took.

For instance, the question, “can you tell me about yourself?”, can be answered by following the STAR Technique. Take my own personal answer for example:

Situation: I recently graduated in 2012, but have been working professionally for the past 5 years. I graduated with a Mathematics, Statistics and Economics Major.

Task: Recently, I have decided that I am interested in looking for a new role because I am interested in joining a smaller start-up company instead of working for a large corporation.

Action: So I have been looking for companies and roles where my skills would transition well in a smaller company.

Result: And I am happy to have come across this company, [insert company name]. Everything I have heard about the role sounds great so far.

The above may or may not apply to your job hunting situation or life, but is an example of how I answer this basic question using the STAR Technique.

You can use this flowchart for any question during the interview process.

Using this technique will also help from rambling on too long and also help give a consistent flow to your answers. This style of communication also lets the interviewer know when you are done speaking, allowing for a smoother interview.

So, next time you are being interviewed – think STAR!

Sharktank! Learn From The Best (and Worst)

The T.V. show, Sharktank, is one of my favorite shows, where entrepreneurs pitch their company to potential investors or Sharks! These sharks can potentially invest huge sums of money into the companies after a 5-10 minute pitch. Sometimes these investments can be more than a million dollars!

The reason I am suggesting people watch the show is not to become the next great entrepreneur, but because the successful entrepreneurs (the ones that are offered deals) are some of the brightest and most well-spoken individuals I have ever seen. These are the type of people worth emulating in life.

These people are not just entrepreneurs with an original idea, but some of the best salesman I have ever seen. It is important that you are a good “sales person” when it comes to interviewing since you really need to be able to “sell” yourself to the interviewer

Along side with the exceptionally good are the not-so-good entrepreneurs. Watching the people who do not get a deal can teach many lessons as well. Typically, you will hear a shark immediately “go out” of the deal if the entrepreneur has poor communication skills or don’t seem to be telling the truth. Whether you learn from the good or the bad, there is a lot to of knowledge to be gained from simple T.V. show about millionaires investing in real businesses.

Watch a season or two of Sharktank and I guarantee you will have more success in your next interview.

Also, it is just a great show!

I hope you found these tips useful. If you did, make sure to subscribe, like, comment, and share. If not, tell me why not. 🙂

Whatever the case may be, you will definitely be more successful using these tips in your next interview.










  1. I have conducted 100’s of interviews during my time as a sales trainer for some fortune 500s and I can appreciate the simplicity behind the STAR technique. I think one important thing to add in regards to the interview is preparation is professionalism. Research the industry as best as you can as well as the company you are applying for as it shows a true interest in the position as a career and not as a job. Great article, I would like to reference it in my upcoming article about interview tips.

  2. I like the idea of turning any general advice from the internet into a more specific piece of advice for our own lives.

    I think your 1st sentence could work for many people, personally I am happy to say anything that is truthful and not rehearsed.

  3. I can second Sharktank! Awesome show, amazing people that feature on it.

    I add to the STAR method, and try to remember YSTAR. IMO the why is incredibly important as it really connects you to the answer and the actions you’ve taken. Explaining your why when answering the question gives the interviewer an opportunity to understand you, the context and what you’re about, allowing you to demonstrate the passion and culture that you can bring to the role. For example, I’ve woven a WHY into your example (may not be your why, but just for example sake).

    “Can you tell me about yourself?”

    I’m a passionate entrepreneurial personality who enjoys applying strong logical and mathematical skills to solving problems in fast-paced businesses. I recently graduated in 2012 with a Mathematics, Statistics and Economics Major, but have been working professionally for the past 5 years. Recently, due to my attraction to working with a start up business I’ve been seeking a new role that better aligns with me, rather than my current role within a large corporation. So I have been looking for companies and roles where my skills would transition well, And I am happy to have come across this company, [insert company name]. Everything I have heard about the role sounds great so far and aligns perfectly with who I am.

    What do you think?

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