Most candidates spend some time researching online, trying to figure out what questions they’ll be asked in a job interview. They spend a good bit of time crafting their answers. Some people devote time for practicing or doing role-play.

But the one thing almost every candidate fails to do is set the appropriate goals and have a tactical plan before they do anything else. Like every other success in life, you need the right goals and tactics to get the right results. Successfully interviewing for a job requires the same approach. Of course, a job interview could be life-changing so do this part of the work before you start researching, writing, or role-playing.

The four goals of interviewing are:

  1. Display your authentic traits, qualities, and values
  2. Showcase your approach to overcoming challenges
  3. Reveal how you work and interact with other people
  4. Express yourself articulately and in a compelling way

Every interview question provides the opportunity to reach these goals. Spend some time reflecting on your experiences in school or other activities to crystallize your positive attributes. Now, you’re ready for tactical implementation.

Four tactical approaches that make a great impression:

  1. Answer questions directly so you seem attentive
  2. Tell the truth so you appear straight-forward and sincere
  3. Share specific details when you tell a story to make it come alive
  4. Ask questions about topics and issues that genuinely interest you

Now, you are ready to prepare for questions that will help the interviewer assess whether you are a great fit for the job or internship.

Four types of questions you may be asked in any interview are:

  1. Behavioral questions – how do you think and act?

Example: When have you received constructive criticism and how did you handle it?

  1. Skills questions – what can you do and how do you do it?

Example: How do you manage deadlines and multiple projects? What tools do you use?

  1. Reflection questions – what are your priorities and values?

Example: Tell me about yourself.

  1. Brainteaser questions – how do you approach challenges?

Example: How many golf balls fit into a Tesla sedan?

You can see how by first focusing on job interview goals and tactics, you create the basis for successfully answering specific questions. That’s how you prepare to ace an interview!

Next Steps

  1. Use every conversation to practice implementing the four goals and four tactical approaches.
  2. Take notes on what you do right! That will help you repeat your success and feel confident when you have a job interview.
  3. Craft answers to the four example questions.
  4. Refine and practice them until your answers are clear, crisp, and confident.