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People are people at the end of the day. We all want what’s best for us and for the people we care about around us. This also translates to companies that want to hire the best people for the job.

I’ve taken dozens of interviews from a wide variety of positions (Assistant, insurance agents, marketing, retail, agency, C-level, and D-level). On the flipside, I’ve also interviewed my fair share of candidates.

What’s the most surprising to me is that a majority of people are terrible at interviewing!

As a matter of fact, most people can’t read a room. Nervousness and lack of understanding of the position often cloud most interviewees judgment throughout the interview.

Most of these interview tips will mainly be applicable in non-corporate environments. Often when HR interviews they don’t take into consideration the department/team that is being hired. That said, follow these steps in every interview and you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood of getting an offer. Here are 5 overlooked interviewing tips you should focus on next time you are interviewed.

1. Your First Impression is Your Last Impression

I HATE when people say, “be confident and leave a lasting impression“. It’s such an open-ended statement that isn’t practical.

You dramatically improve your chances of getting hired when you make a great impression that is implanted in your interviewer’s mind.

Your employer probably has a dozen interviews lined up and would rather be focusing on their initiatives. I believe that 75% of landing the job is strictly on the first impression. The other 25% is not fucking up the rest of your interview.

Here are some tips (and body-language cues) to stand out as the ideal candidate from the get-go (note: obviously dressing for the job is standard, so don’t knock me for not mentioning it).

  1. Never Sit While Waiting – I don’t care if your interviewer is 30 minutes behind, never site while you wait. I always stand. When you sit you are putting yourself in a submissive position.
  2. Walk Straight Into The Room and Sit Down – After you shake hands/greet, make a B-line to your seat. Don’t walk slowly and check your surrounding, you are at an interview for one job…and that’s to get the job!
  3. Always make eye-content to the interviewers left eye – I’m an introvert by nature so eye contact is rare. A good trick in displaying confidence is looking at someone’s left eye as opposed to both eyes. You are still kind of looking away, but the feeling of being engaged is directly there

2. Understand The Position Level

Is the job entry level? Mid-level? Upper-level? Management or C Suite? Each job level needs to have a different mindset on how you communicate with your employer.

If this is an entry-level job, don’t talk about how much better you are than all the other candidates. That makes you look foolish because you lack the experience to validate those statement.

If you are mid/upper level, you need to remember to document your past accomplishments and speak to them in an instant.

3. Take Your Time To Answer Questions

Just because an interviewer asks you a question doesn’t mean you need to answer it right away. It’s okay to say, “Give me a second to answer that”. This allows you to keep your composure and collect your thoughts best fit the situation.

To some degree, having a fast response can be a benefit. But the last thing people want to here are answers that sound rehearsed.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back

This is more suited for mid-level and above. If you have developed a certain skill or expertise, don’t be afraid to speak up about it when prompted.

There have been a couple of instances in my field where the interviewee has a question that doesn’t make sense logically. Simply say something in the lines of “I’m sorry, but your question isn’t relevant to this interview as I would…”

Sure, this is a higher-risk tactic, but in most cases, you only get to spend 2 hours max in the interview process before a decision is made. That’s nowhere near enough time to get a feel for a potential employee. Take any opportunity you have to differentiate yourself and make an impact.

5. Keep Your Options Open

Desperation doesn’t look good on anybody. The last thing interviewers want to hear is your sob story or that you are looking for a new job because things don’t look good. That implies that you are desperate or are settling for anything.

In some cases, you are. But you don’t want to appear that way. By always applying for different jobs and taking multiple interviews, the pressure of landing a job is alleviated.

I hope I’ve been able to provide some helpful tips. There are so many unique situations and I hope to cover them all someday. Have any other tips? Feel free to comment and discuss below.