I was watching Oceans 11 yesterday and there is a part of the movie that hit me as great job interview preparation advice. There is a part of the movie where the character Rusty(Brad Pitt) was giving some last-minute advice to Linus(Matt Damon) before going into a meeting where he had to play a different character.
Another great article: Job Interview Preparation Techniques
Job Interview Preparation – Oceans 11 Style Quotes:
Linus: (reaches for his tie)
Rusty: “Don’t touch your tie! Okay, I ask you a question, you have to think of the answer – where do you look?”
Linus: (looks down)
Rusty: “No Good! If you look down, they know you’re lying”
Linus: (looks up)
Rusty: “and up they know you don’t know the truth”
Rusty: “don’t use seven (7) words when four (4) will do. Don’t shift your weight. Focus on your mark, but don’t stare. Be specific, but not memorable. Be funny, but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you and then forget you the moment you left his sight. And for god’s sake whatever you do, don’t….(Rusty Interrupted).
In a job interview, you are not trying to be evasive. You are truthfully selling yourself, which will make your interview a lot easier than the character’s in Oceans 11.
Making eye contact is important, but staring is never comfortable for anyone. Be personable, but don’t over talk. This is where preparation before an interview is important.
One very common request in a first interview is the “Tell me about yourself” question at the beginning. Work on aggregating your “about yourself” speech to one or two sentences. Who you are, what you have done, and how you can add value in the position you are interviewing for is a good blueprint.
Be specific, don’t worry about being memorable. Funny is at your discretion. Be yourself, let them (the interviewers) be funny first. Don’t tell jokes.
Finally, at the end of the interview when the hiring manager or HR person asks you if you have any questions, this is your cue to close. Ask questions like: “When are you looking to start someone in this position?”, “What is the next step?”, “is there anything that would prevent us from moving forward?”, “What do I need to do to get this job?”
The question: “is there anything that would prevent us from moving forward?” is great because it gives you a chance to gain more insight in what the manager is looking for. If there is anything at this point, address it.
Asking about the next step will give you an idea if you are moving forward or not.
Read: How do I Get a Second Job Interview?
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