Mark Ford

From Mark Ford, editor, Creating Wealth: An often-imbalanced experience is the job interview. The interviewer has the power to hire, and the interviewee wants to be hired.

So, you might be tempted to be deferential or subservient to an interviewer, or you might feel oppressed or intimidated (or even humiliated) by the process.

You shouldn’t. You should be in charge of it. Turn the tables on the interview. Don’t think of it as the employer deciding whether you are worthy of hiring. Think of it as you deciding whether the company and the job are worthy of you.

Be in charge by taking charge:

  • Know what skills, experiences, attitudes, and so on a potential employer is looking for in a candidate. Research the company so well you know it better than your interviewer does!
  • Figure out how your own skills, experiences, and attitudes match up with those requirements.
  • Weave these matchups into your answers to as many of the interviewer’s questions as possible, even if this means adjusting the question and giving information he or she didn’t explicitly ask for.

    As you share more of yourself, a bigger picture of your skills and personality will begin to emerge. You’ll find the interviewer tailoring the questions to fit you and your background, rather than the other way around.

  • Ask questions. Specifically, ask hard questions that make the interviewer reflect. For example, “What is the biggest challenge this company has faced, and how did you get through it?”

    This kind of question will push the interviewer to try and impress you. It will also give you an opportunity to understand the company more thoroughly.

You don’t have to approach an interview passively… And you don’t have to hope you get a set of questions that allows you to give a complete picture of why you’re the best person for the job.

Come prepared, control how things go, and make the ideal interview happen for yourself!