Get Your Dream Job: Kill The Interview – Part II

Neil StraussNeil

Seems you guys are VERY interested in this series. Let’s just say I’ll be digging out my inbox for the next week. So, in response to your overwhelming response, I’m going to give away more than I’d originally planned:

Imagine you’re at a job or other interview. You’re stressed out and trying to figure out how to best present yourself in order to get the job or project.

You already know that the first rule of killing the interview is to speak less than the interviewer. In other words: Whoever speaks most, loses. You also know that you need to focus on presenting the information that the interviewer needs, not what’s already on your resume. This leaves you with one question: What are they looking for?


Keep your responses to the common questions limited to 60 seconds or less.


Most of the books you’ll read on interviews will tell you the same thing: figure out what the most common questions are, and prepare elaborate stories to demonstrate your uniqueness, passion, and value. However, by following this advice you’ll do exactly what everybody else is doing.

But to really stand out, you have to be the exception to the rule. And the key is to take the first rule (“whoever talks the most loses”) even further by limiting your responses to 60 seconds.

Because most interviews vary from 30 to 60 minutes in length, it’s very easy to waste valuable time. By limiting your responses to 60 seconds, you’ll answer questions quickly and efficiently. You’ll also communicate more information throughout the interview, because you’ll have the opportunity to answer more questions.

What if you can’t say everything you need to say in 60 seconds?

Great question.

The interview process has to be about them and the needs of the company. If they don’t feel like they have all of the information that they need, they’ll simply ask for additional details. That’s their job, after all.

By following this rule, you’ll immediately differentiate yourself from the usual, needy professional trying to desperately sell himself to the interviewer. You’ll better calibrate your answers to their needs, and you’ll engage in deeper dialogue. You’ll also come across as efficient, organized, and completely together. As a result, you’ll radiate maturity, confidence, and you’ll get the job.

We’re only half-way through the material. But you should already feel the paradigm shift.

You may be thinking: “I’m going to walk into interviewers and they’re going to be awkward and the interviewer is going to think I’m a mute.”

Well I’ve saved the most important rules for the next two posts: These are the ones that will really turn around the interview and win you the job, the promotion, or the project. And the first two rules will make more intuitive sense.

If you’re nervous about trying these, wait until the series completes, then just go to a job interview for a position you don’t really want to practice them. Kind of like sarging a warm-up set!