What if you could nail any job interview for the rest of your life?
You could have businesses lining up to hire you, land the dream job you never thought you’d get, or become a crucial part of a thriving 10X business that will help you achieve the life of your dreams. All of that is possible. But, to make it real, you’ll need to master the art of the interview.
Because if you consider yourself 10X, you’ll only be fulfilled working for a business that’s also 10X. And those types of businesses don’t hire just anyone. They go for top talent, the cream of the crop. It all begins with that initial conversation: the interview.
Today, I’ll tell you some of the best strategies I know of to nail any interview you walk into.
And I should know how it’s done because I’ve dialed in a near-flawless interview process to ensure we hire only the best talent in the marketplace. It’s how I scaled my own business from $0 to $56 million in 24 months. It’s why Grant and I partnered on Cardone Ventures. And, it’s how I’ve built incredibly successful teams and businesses around the world. What I’m about to share with you is an inside look into the interview psychology of exactly the type of employer you want to work for.
And if you put it to use, you’ll immediately attract the attention of serious players looking for the best talent, avoid major interview red flags, and know the signs that the company you’re applying for might be a disaster waiting to happen.
So let’s get into it.
Do deep research into the company.
This seems so obvious and straightforward that I shouldn’t have to mention it. But I see this all the time in interviews. Applicants show up with skills and good presentation. But they can’t answer basic questions about our company like “Why do you want to work with us?” or “What do you think about our core values?”
That’s an immediate disqualification from the interview process. Why waste everyone’s time interviewing for a job you didn’t even read up on? If the person didn’t bother to put in a bare minimum of effort to prepare for the interview, that’s the last person I want on my staff.
If you want the job, you need to prove to the interviewer that you did your homework. You need to show you know what’s important to the organization, and you’ve given thought to how you’d implement their core values in the workplace.
Sell your job history
Going into a job interview, you need to be ready to draw meaningful connections between your past job experiences and the job you’re interviewing for. My advice is to do some serious self-reflection. Examine the last three jobs you’ve had and compile a list of things you learned, skills you developed, and accomplishments you can share.
Just make sure it’s relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. An interview isn’t storytime. It’s about demonstrating you have a history of behavior that will benefit the company interviewing you and aligns with their mission and vision.
Demonstrate ambition and foresight
Don’t be surprised if an interviewer asks about your personal, professional, and financial goals for the next 5-10 years. Answering this question well does two things.
First, it shows your interviewer that you take yourself and your future seriously. That you have goals, ambitions, and plans to grow and improve.
And second, it gives the employer the chance to align their own goals and dreams with the company’s goals and dreams.
That alignment is a crucial, non-negotiable part of building a committed and lasting team. The type of team needed to scale a business. So if that’s the kind of organization you want to work for, go into every interview with clearly defined personal, professional, and financial goals, and be prepared to align your own goals with theirs.
Focus on adding value
It doesn’t do you any good to spout off a litany of skills and accomplishments if they a) aren’t relevant to the job you’re interviewing for or b) don’t directly add value to the company. A company hires people to propel the business forward. That means that either directly or indirectly, every employee has to contribute to the growth and success of the company.
You must present yourself as a valuable asset instead of a liability. Make clear that as a new member of the team, you clearly understand how to create value for the business. Creating value means you either increase or reduce waste of positive growth indicators like sales, leads, productivity, and whatever else is most important to the company.
Support every claim with specific proof
One of the easiest ways I know an interviewee is completely BSing is their inability to back up the claims they make. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I’ve proven my leadership skills and team-building, blah-blah…” only to ask, “Can you please give me one example of how your leadership skills led to an improvement in team performance?” And they don’t have a single specific example.
People who did things they claim to do know all the details. It’s why one of Elon’s favorite interview questions is “What’s the biggest problem you’ve ever solved and how did you solve it?” Or mine, “What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever built? How did you do it?” You can’t BS questions like that because it requires in-depth specific knowledge. You either have it or you’re legit. Or you don’t and you lied.
And don’t assume an interviewer will cut you slack on this. They hear plenty of applicants BSing them. If you trigger their BS detector, don’t expect a pass just because you’re a nice person.
So be warned, any time you say something positive about yourself or make a claim, be prepared to give specific details about the past and how you will use them in your new role. It’s common sense, yet extremely uncommon.
Practice your presentation
Great employers are looking for more than just “the right answers” to interview questions. They’re taking note of how you communicate. What is your body language saying? Is your tone comfortable, confident, and motivated?
How are your presentation skills? Are you articulate? Can you answer questions clearly and concisely or do you ramble? The quality of your presentation is just as important to the interview as the answers you give.
I recommend you get somebody to role-play interviews with you. The more reps you get, the better you’ll be for the real thing.
Just a friendly piece of advice, don’t talk too much. This is one of the most common interview mistakes I’ve seen over the decades. It usually happens when I ask a question that throws the interviewee off balance. They start telling stories, bragging about awards and accomplishments, and sometimes completely ignore the question I asked.
At BEST, they end up overexplaining or overselling themselves. At worst, this demonstrates a lack of discipline and attention. So listen closely to questions and answer as clearly and concisely as you can.
Demonstrate your skills
Earlier I mentioned how important it is to back up your claims with proof. This is taking that concept to the next level and could easily set you head and shoulders above other applicants. In our interviews at Cardone Ventures, we demand a live demonstration of the applicant’s technical ability to perform a task associated with their role.
The best employees in the marketplace are never caught lacking. They’re creative, ambitious, can think on their toes, and possess superior skills in their field. Live demonstrations in a 10-minute case study should be no problem for a serious 10X employee.
You need to be prepared for such an exercise. And even if the interviewer doesn’t ask, volunteer to do it anyway. When the topic of your technical ability comes up, ask to make a live demonstration. If they say “no”, do something on your own time and present it as proof of your skill and commitment to the opportunity.
Flip the script — ask GREAT questions
I can’t emphasize this enough. If you get to the end of the interview and you have “no questions” for the interviewer, that’s a major red flag. It’s impossible for someone taking themselves or their future seriously to not ask great questions during an interview.
Because the act of you answering questions is only half of the interview. The other half is you vetting the company. And you can’t do that if you don’t ask questions. A good company wants someone who thinks that way because aligning with that person will likely be a profitable partnership for both parties.
Having done over 4,000 interviews at this point, I’ve seen and heard everything. I know what will impress an interviewer. So I want to broaden your thinking a bit, and quite frankly, give you a cheat sheet for asking the right questions during an interview.
Here are a few good ones to help nail any job interview:
- Are you looking for someone to “do a job” or to start a career with your company?
- Why are you hiring for this position? What happened to the last person with this role?
- What opportunities do you offer to help me grow personally, professionally, and financially alongside the company?
- Will you train me so I can make an even greater impact on the bottom line?
- Are employees rewarded for exceptional work?
- Are people allowed to take on more responsibility to help more people?
- How do you incentivize your employees to stay with you long-term?
- Where do you see the company in 5 years? Where could I expect to see myself in the company by that point?
These are just a few examples to get the wheels turning. When you’re in an interview, you’ll have to adapt in the moment and ask your own questions to get the answers you’re looking for. Which is an aspect about interviewing most employees forget. Your job in the interview, in addition to proving yourself an asset to the company, is to find out whether they are a good fit for you.
To help you do that, here’s a simple checklist of core criteria that would indicate a great employment fit.
There are no magic questions to get you answers to all these. But throughout the course of the interview, you need to pay attention and take notes. After the interview(s), sit down and reflect on these questions. They’ll help you make a decision about whether or not this is the type of company you want to work for:
- Is this company successful?
- Do they show it?
- Do the company leaders have the type of things I want in life?
- Do they have a big mission that I deeply care about?
- Do they know where they’re going and have a plan to get there?
- Are they excited? Motivated? Inspiring?
- Do they want their employees to succeed?
- Do they ask about your personal, professional and financial goals?
- Do they train their employees regularly?
- Do the employees win when the company wins?
- Do they ask what is important to you?
- Does the leader indicate that his mission is to make his employees’ success easier?
Most people don’t consider any of this stuff. They go into an interview and wing it, and then wonder why they never got invited to a second interview. Now you don’t have to go in blind. Now you’ve got the proven methods that interviewers look for to spot top-talent.
But having it isn’t enough. Do you want my advice?
Drill this stuff. Drill it over and over again until it becomes second nature. Because if you take all this to heart and put it in practice, I wager you’ll interview better than 99% of other applicants for that same position. That means, you’ll have the luxury of choosing who you want to work for.
There’s a lot more I could say about this, but I want to hear from you.
Is there anything else you want to know about interviewing for a 10X business? Or becoming an elite 10X employee?
Comment and tell me what’s on your mind.
To your success,
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