Score BIG on that interview. Image courtesy of Hemera/Thinkstock.

I remember when I went on my first big job interview straight out of college.  It was with one of the big consulting firms and I was so nervous I sweat profusely throughout the entire interview.  I wanted it so bad that my anxieties got the best of me.

Now I am older and wiser.  I’ve seen my share of interviews and I am at a point in my career where I am the one who does the interviewing.

I’ve read a lot of articles giving interview advice, but I think there are a few suggestions I can give that can help you get a leg up during that next interview:

Focus on work experience.
I go through a buttload of resumes when I am  looking for an applicant.  With my regular job duties, this is roughly equivalent to about 2 seconds per resume.

The first thing I look at is work experience and key words that match what I am looking for.  I start with job titles and companies.  If you make it past that first scan, I start looking at job responsibilities.

Here’s what I don’t give a shit about:

  • Cover letters
  • Your job objective
  • Whether or not you know how to use Microsoft Office
  • Your hobbies
  • Your education

The last bullet point is probably a surprise.  Education for me is just icing on the work experience cake.  You can have a masters from Yale, but without work experience, it is virtually useless.

Know someone on the inside.
There is an 80% chance someone will get interviewed if they were recommended by someone that is already working within the company.  Why?  Because if that person is a superstar and values their job, they wouldn’t recommend someone that would make them look bad.

Dress well.
Dressing well doesn’t necessarily mean wear a tie.  It means dress nice and something that is appropriate to the industry you are applying for.

If you are applying for a job at a graphic design studio, you’ll probably get away with a nice button up shirt and slacks.  Applying for a bank – definitely wear a nice suit.  Just don’t dress better than the boss. You’ve got plenty of time for that.

Be likeable and confident.
Confidence and likeability is one of the greatest weapons you can have during a job interview.  If you’ve made it past the first few stages of the process, vibing with the person you are interviewing with will make sure you hit a home run.

Just make sure your confidence isn’t arrogance.

And the last pieces of advice? 

Never ask about vacation days and break times.  Asking those questions will change the interviewers mood and will kill your interview in a heartbeat.  Save those questions for when you get the job.

Take the time to make your resume look nice and spellcheck your document.  It shows you are a thinker and you have an attention to detail.

ESM

To create Essential Style for Men, mix 2 parts petrol, 1 part secret agent, 1 part rock and roll, 1 part hip-hop and a shot of tequila in a shaker with ice and vigorously shake for 20 seconds. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with explosives and have a supermodel serve for all your friends to enjoy.