I asked ChatGPT to write a summary of this video interview course “How to Prepare for Your Interview.” It’s pretty close. The idea is that by asking question you’ll be able to showcase your accomplishments rather than being asked to respond to a bunch of inane questions. This approach will work real wonders for those who aren’t too confident when being interviewed. CAUTION: It’s important to not ask self-serving questions, e.g., what’s the benefit plan, WFO policy, and the like, until it’s clear the company wants to invite you back for another round. Then these questions are okay. As an FYI, I’ve prepped thousands of candidates using this approach and as I said in the conclusion to The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired:

While these techniques will help those who are qualified to do the real work required get more job offers, they won’t help those who aren’t.

Be Prepared

In the high-stakes arena of job interviews, candidates can significantly enhance their chances by demonstrating initiative and a proactive approach. This strategy not only showcases their skills and experience but also their potential fit within the organization. Here’s a detailed exploration of how candidates can effectively navigate an interview by asking the right questions at strategic moments.

Taking Control Early

At the outset of the interview, candidates should seize the opportunity to steer the conversation. By asking the interviewer to delineate the main challenges of the role, candidates can immediately align their responses to show how their past accomplishments directly address these challenges. This proactive approach demonstrates an understanding of the job’s requirements and an eagerness to contribute meaningfully from the start.

Responding to Skill-Based Inquiries

When interviewers pose questions centered around specific skills or experiences, candidates should pivot by inquiring how these skills are utilized within the company. This allows them to tailor their answers by citing specific instances when they successfully employed similar skills in their previous roles, thereby highlighting their direct applicability to the potential new job.

Addressing Unasked Strengths

Often, an interview may not cover all of a candidate’s strengths. In such cases, candidates should take the initiative to ask if particular skills—ones they excel in—are relevant to the job. Upon confirmation, they can share targeted examples of how these skills were instrumental in achieving significant outcomes in their past positions.

Emphasizing Team Skills

Teamwork is crucial in most organizational settings but can sometimes be overlooked during interviews. Candidates should proactively bring up their team-related skills and provide examples of how they have successfully collaborated on projects or contributed to team dynamics in the past.

Wrapping Up the Interview

As the interview concludes, candidates should inquire about the next steps in the hiring process. If the interviewer’s response is vague or noncommittal, it’s prudent for the candidate to ask if there are any concerns regarding their background that might hinder their application. This not only shows determination but also opens the door to address any possible misgivings immediately, either by providing additional information or clarification.

Conclusion: Demonstrating Proactivity

Asking job-related questions not only clarifies the role for the candidate but also signals to the interviewer that the candidate is proactive and results-oriented. This approach is particularly effective for those who may naturally be more reserved. While these strategies do not guarantee a job offer, they significantly enhance the likelihood of making a memorable impression and advancing through the hiring process.

Employing this strategy equips candidates with a greater control over the interview narrative, allowing them to highlight their strengths and readiness for the role, thus markedly improving their chances of securing the job.