Remember the JetBlue flight attendant who quit by grabbing two beers and jumping down the evacuation slide? It seems like that’s happening at pretty much every company right now. Welcome to the Great Resignation!
Formerly a hiring manager at a national company, I led enough interviews to fill several JetBlue flights over the past ten years. What I can advise everyone looking for a new place to land is that the key to acing a job interview is to tell a story that feels authentic, a little boastful and leaves a specific, memorable impression.
Here are three steps to make that happen:
Outline your career path. Where have you been and where would you like to go? The best interviews follow a simple, clear narrative arc (basically, the opposite of the Star Wars movies). You want to give the impression that you’ve been laying the groundwork for years and this new opportunity is the most logical next step in your professional journey.
Center yourself in examples. This might seem obvious to some, but the truth is if I had a dollar for every time someone left themselves out of their professional stories… well, I’d have a lot of dollars. Be careful of an overreliance on ‘we’ and ‘the team’ -- you’re the one interviewing for the job. What did you do? How were you instrumental to the outcome? Connect the dots for the interviewer and make sure to center yourself in the story.
Practice your way to success. Do you think my masterful karaoke cover of Michelle Branch’s “Everywhere” came instantly? No. I had to practice. A job interview is a performance, and like any other performance in life, practice makes perfect. Do drills telling your story and giving your examples. Repeat them five, six, seven times. As you polish your delivery, ask yourself, ‘Do I sound the way I want to sound?’ Practice provides time to make changes before the actual interview. (Hate the sound of your own voice? Work with a coach!)
So there you have it: the definitive list of everything you could possibly need to ace your next interview. The better you know what you want to say and how you want to say it, the better your chance at effectively delivering your message and landing that new job.