Present Your Accomplishments in the Best Possible Light
Look, I’m not saying you should just make things up, per se, but it’s OK to exaggerate things. The fact of the matter is that everyone else is doing it, and if you don’t keep up, employers just won’t be able to see you as a top candidate. Let’s take a look at some examples of how you might make yourself look more impressive with a little creative presentation:
- WHAT YOU SAY: “I’m an energetic self-starter who’s always looking for the next task.”
- WHAT YOU MEAN: “I am addicted to methamphetamine."
- WHAT YOU SAY: “I volunteered in the community to help find solutions for homelessness.”
- WHAT YOU MEAN: “I killed five hobos.”
See? Either way you’re saying essentially the same thing, but in a way that presents value to your interviewer.
Show your Weaknesses as a Positive
“What’s your biggest weakness?” This question trips up more job seekers than any other, but it doesn’t have to. While tricky to navigate, this question actually provides you with the opportunity to present yourself in a positive light. Here’s an example of a good and bad response to this question:
- GOOD: “Sometimes I make things look a little too effortless, and the judges knock down my scores, even though I just landed a 900, for Christ’s sake.”
- BAD: “I haven’t made a decent video game in a decade.”
- NOTE: These responses only work if you are applying to be Tony Hawk.
Dress Up for Success
Improper interview attire is one of the biggest problem spots for potential employees. You don’t want to look like you don’t care about the position, but you also don’t want to come off as stuffy, or someone who wouldn’t fit in with the office culture. Here’s an easy rule of thumb to make sure you look like someone who is ready to accept a job offer: wear what people in the office you’re applying to wear, but more. Here are some examples for different types of offices:
- THEY WEAR: T-shirts and jeans.
- YOU WEAR: A tank top and JNCOs.
- THEY WEAR: Suits.
- YOU WEAR: Two suits.
- THEY WEAR: Polo shirts.
- YOU WEAR: A horse costume.
Tread Lightly Around Your Old Jobs
Inevitably, your interviewer is going to ask you about your old job, and why you left. Think about your job interview like dating. Imagine: you’re out on a date, and all you keep talking about is how great your old boyfriend was. Your date would think you’re not over your ex, and be totally creeped out, right? It doesn’t make sense to treat a job interview any differently. Your interviewer needs confirmation that you aren’t going to decide you’re still in love with your old job and get back together with it while you string your new job along like a goddamn outfit accessory. Take a look at the right and wrong things to say about your old workplace.
- WRONG: “I really loved my time at my old job, unfortunately there just wasn’t enough opportunity for me to advance and grow my career there.”
- RIGHT: “Usually I have a rule that I only murder hobos, but I hate my old boss so much I’d make an exception for him. I am probably going to murder you.”