How to Take Control of a Job Interview

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In order to ace a job interview, you need to be proactive. Interviews aren’t about sitting back and answering the questions posed to you so much as they are about you sitting up and finding opportunities to tell stories that will pique the interviewer’s interest. Tactics for taking control of a job interview can range from subtle to aggressive, and it will be up to you to read your interviewer and decide which to employ. Try the following tactics to ensure that you guide the interview rather than being powerless over it.

– Jump in at the start. You can seize the initiative in the interview straight away by asking questions early on. You may want to offer to go over your resume with the interviewer, which will allow you to highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses.

– Ask tough and engaging questions. At some point during the interview, you’ll be a given a chance to ask questions. Make the most of it by staying away from “safe” questions about the position and digging into the details. Try asking your interviewer what professional problems trouble them the most and how you might be able to help, or ask about the company’s top priorities for the upcoming year. Doing so may get the interviewer to start thinking about you as a member of the team before you even leave the room.

– End your answers with a question. Gauge the success of your answers from time to time by asking the interviewer how things are going. Find out whether your answer gave them what they were looking for and whether they felt it was complete. Before you leave, be sure to ask whether there’s anything else in your experience that they’d like to go over.

– Don’t feel intimidated. Nearly four out of 10 employers will bring a C-level executive in on your interview. Even if you’re sitting down with the bigwigs, don’t let your nerves show. Treat the interview like you would any other.

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