Get Your Dream Job: Kill The Interview – Part IV

Neil StraussNeil, The Game

This is it. Today we reveal the fourth rule you’ll need to know in order to kill the interview–and after this, I don’t have permission to share more.

But fortunately, this rule takes everything that you’ve learned so far, and brings it together into the single most powerful technique you’ll use when meeting with a prospective employer. So without further ado…


You may have been wondering after the previous email, if you’re supposed to give short answers and talk less than the employer, then isn’t that going to create a lot of awkward silence?

The answer is no. Not with this simple and effective technique for social or professional settings: String Theory.

Business meeting

After responding to a question, the goal is to string in a question of your own. This allows you to effortlessly bind the two previous rules of limiting your response and demonstrating desire for the job together. As a result, you’ll have a certain level of control over the flow of the interview and the employer will be more invested in you.

The key to making this work is how you use it. When the interviewer asks you a question, you start by following rule number two: limit your responses to less than sixty seconds. Then, string a pertinent question of your own and have them elaborate to follow rule number one: whoever speaks most, loses.

This leaves us with a pressing question: What should you ask?

The great thing about rule number four is that, in addition to its aforementioned benefits, it allows you to easily demonstrate value points we previously mentioned in the three themes. In this context, you do it by asking questions that project three things about you: commitment to your professional development, understanding of the job and industry, and a desire for THIS job.

So what you want to do is prepare specific questions for each of these areas. Every question should be pertinent to the interview, while subtly projecting one of those qualities. Don’t worry, we’ll provide a few examples below.

First, communicate you’re deeply committed to your continued growth and professional development. And as you’ll see these questions show that you’re interested in constructive feedback, and that you’re eager to grow within the organization.

String any of the following questions to your responses, if appropriate to the position:

  • What types of training programs do you offer internally?
  • Does the organization have any formal mentoring programs?
  • What type of rotational programs do you offer?
  • How do you manage performance evaluations?

Second, use questions that demonstrate your understanding of the company and the industry you are interviewing for. So you would ask questions like these:

  • How is your organization dealing with [proposed tax law, technology shift, and global issue]?
  • I noted that your organization was currently ranked X? How did you accomplish this? What factors are driving this?
  • What do you think differentiates your company from XYZ competitor?
  • How is [Product A] changing to address this industry trend?

You’ll want the questions to focus on their business and on the current industry trends. This is where research is particularly crucial before the interview.

Third, you’ll want to communicate through carefully prepared questions that you want the job badly. And by using questions like the ones below you’ll show that you’re very eager to join their company and become a member of the team. For example:

  • Based on what you know of my background, how well do you feel I meet your requirements?
  • How soon do you want someone to start in this role?
  • Would I be able to talk to my predecessor to get a deeper understanding of what this position entails?
  • What areas would you suggest I do more research into prior to starting?

During the actual interview, the moment you ask each of those questions shouldn’t matter as much as you’d think. By stringing any question at the end of your responses, you’ll be the one taking control of the conversation while demonstrating value and creating comfort.

Now remember the questions that we’ve provided should only be used as a starting point. While they can be very effective, you should always take some time to adapt them to the job and company you’re applying for.

So, before the interview, it is recommend that you create a personalized list of twenty questions. And each should equally cover the three primary themes.

There is no need to ask most of them, so calibrate which questions to ask and when enough is enough.

Most importantly, really listen to the answers. If a question on your list has already been answered elsewhere in the interview, you’re going to lose points by asking it.

You now have the basics you need to kill the interview. By following all these rules along with the primary themes, you’ll easily demonstrate that you’re an ambitious professional in your field of expertise and that you’re genuinely interested in the company’s growth. You’ll show that you’re not just browsing for a job, but instead want to work with them for very specific reasons. And you’ll show that you’re capable of thinking on your feet while calibrating your responses to the needs of others.


In other words: You will stand out and be the exception to the rule. You’ll be seen as a great candidate for the job.

So the only thing left is for you to go out in the field…

…and kill the interview!

P.S. And share your success stories and any questions!