Turn the Interview Around

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Dec 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Interview Tips, Candidate

Think back to your last interview. Did you feel as though you were being assessed and measured? Were you walking out of the building wondering if you left the potential employer with a strong understanding of how capable, engaging and experienced you were? Did you show this in your answers?

When it comes to life-changing interviews, there are some all-too-common mistakes that many candidates make. The good news, there are some things you can do to transform the experience and ensure it works out in your favor. Rather than obsessing about what an interviewer thinks about you, remove the focus from your personal neuroses and consider how the person who you are being interviewed by is feeling about themselves when you are in the room with them.

Put the Spotlight on Your Host

When you watch a chat-show interview that features news-makers or celebrities, it is all about the answers they give. It is all about the star that is sitting on the couch. There is no one who really cares about the person asking the questions. If you are an artist, CEO, star-performer, star-creative, or another best-in-class rainmaker, then it’s time for you to ignore the interviewer and make the interview completely about you.

If you are the only person up for the position, then the interviewer is going to be completely focused on doing everything possible to lure you in to take the role. In most cases, looking like an egomaniac is not going to result in you losing the gig. In most case, this is what they are going to expect from a star candidate.

For anyone else who is in this position – you are not going to be interviewed for a position where you will be the star. The goal here is for the interviewer to want to make you a member of the team in the future. You don’t need to be more interesting or important than the person who is interviewing you – there is a good chance that if you are successful, you will wind up working alongside them, or even reporting to them.

However, you do need to show that you are the best candidate for the job. If you have already been chosen for an interview, then the company already believes that you are capable. They already know that you have the proper abilities and skills and the interviewer will have gone through your CV.

When you are going for an interview in this situation, you are essentially being evaluated to determine if you are a good fit for the team and to get a taste of what it may really be like to have you around each day. The biggest mistake that people make in an interview situation today is making it all about them. They wind up talking too much and assume that the person who is in charge of hiring them wants to hire a person who is amazing and extremely successful, confident, and accomplished.  

This is completely wrong.

In these situations, the person who is interviewing you does not want to hire a person who is a complete egomaniac and who is going to suck all of the oxygen out of the room with their own, narcissistic rant. Instead, they want to hire a person who makes them, or whoever the boss is, and the rest of their team feel accomplished, supported, and successful day in and day out. If you are not able to make them feel this for a single half an hour, chances are you don’t have a chance at getting this position.

Rather than spending time obsessing over what the person who is interviewing you is going to think of you, take the time to shift the spotlight away from you and make a switch. Put it on the person interviewing you. Everyone likes to be around other people who give others the opportunity to shine. If the person conducting the interview feels much more accomplished or smarter and more dynamic when you are there, then this is likely a situation they will want to repeat.

Here are a few interview tips to follow for your next upcoming interview:


If you have the time, research the individual who will be conducting the interview as if they were the star guest and you were going to be interviewing them. You want to make sure that you astound them with what you know about their professional life. If you are not able to research the interviewer, then study the CEO or founders of the company. Be unforgettable by showing off how much you know about the company you are interviewing with that day.

Ask Questions You Have Considered Carefully

It’s a good idea to have three questions ready that clearly demonstrate a thorough understanding of who the interviewer is, their responsibilities, and that lets them shine as being an expert about the company they work for and more. Don’t ever ask a question to the interviewer that you don’t know the answer to yourself.

Turn the Tables

Rather than attempting to show off how well-suited you are to work for the company, make sure you show off all the research that you have done to show how well you are suited to build a career with the company. Remember, the goal here is to become a member of the team, not have them want to come and join you.

Listen and Mirror the Interviewer’s Body Language

Finally, an interview is not about the person interviewing you to believe that you are a star or even some type of expert. It is all about them feeling stronger and more valued by bringing you into the company. For this reason, pay attention to your interviewer's body language and mirror it.  

Start Getting Out There

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