The One Thing You Should Always Do in a Job Interview, According to Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and Other Top CEOs
Interviews are a daunting and crucial part of the job hunt. We asked these company leaders and Advisors in The Oracles what they look for when interviewing candidates. Here’s their advice on how to stand out.
1. Be positive.
I never look at resumes; they just get in the way. I want to know what your family is like and why you are the person standing in front of me. If your parents couldn’t make you a positive person, there’s no way I can change you. Just one negative person on a team brings down the whole group. —Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, podcast host of “Business Unusual,” and Shark on “Shark Tank”
2. Talk about your beliefs and aspirations.
I never look at a potential employee’s resume. I assume that if they are applying for a particular role, they have the experience and technical know-how needed. For me, it’s more about whether they are passionate and if they are a cultural fit for our company; so the interview is very important.
I start by asking people to tell me about themselves. If they’re vague or talk about material things like playing video games, or drone on about their pets, I am usually not interested. But if they tell me about where they are from, who raised them, what they believe in, and what their aspirations are in life, then I definitely perk up.
When people exhibit enthusiasm, passion, and a desire to learn, it makes me want to hire them, no matter what their prior experience was. —Patch Baker, founder and CEO of Mobius Media Solutions; former U.S. Marine, with a mission to help people leave the military today and not feel abandoned tomorrow
3. Ask about the company culture.
I expect candidates to come prepared with questions. Elementary ones won’t separate you from others; so I recommend asking about company culture, not just the role. That will help you determine whether there is a cultural fit. It will also make you memorable and demonstrate that you care about culture, which is important. In fact, the number one trait I look for is a candidate’s ability to immerse themselves in our culture.
I suggest asking the following three questions: How would you define your company culture? Can you give me an example of an employee who immediately thrived in your culture? What did they do to become successful? —Michel Falcon, entrepreneur and keynote speaker with expertise in customer experience, company culture, and employee engagement; has worked with brands such as McDonald’s Canada, Electronic Arts, and Lush Cosmetics; author of “People-First Culture”; connect with Michel on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook
4. Clarify your goals.
Find your passion and a job that aligns with it. When work feels like a hobby instead of an obligation, we enjoy it, which invariably leads to success.
I always ask candidates about their goals before deciding if I want to work with them. They always impress me if they have a clear idea where they want to be in five or 10 years and specific goals to turn their vision into reality. When they have a purpose and a reason to succeed, they are more productive at work. They are also more dedicated, energetic, and enthusiastic when they are striving to better themselves. —Andres Pira, real estate developer, founder and CEO of Blue Horizon Developments, and author of “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity” (available on Amazon and Kindle); follow Andres on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
5. Show your personality.
We recently received over 150 applications for a position. You must stand out and make an impression to have a chance. I love seeing personality and relatability. Talk to me like a friend, not like we’re strangers in formal attire awkwardly trying to be cordial. Creating a video will immediately set you apart and capture my attention. It gives me the opportunity to learn about your personality, feel connected to you, and know that I like you before we ever meet. You can even include a meme in your application — but be discerning.
Do your research about our company news and accolades, leadership team, and vision. Customize your response to demonstrate how your skill set would be a strategic fit. Then follow up. If you aren’t persistent and proactive in the application process, I doubt you will be if you join my team. — Tom Shieh, CEO of Crimcheck; advisory board member to Defy Ventures; advisor to Tiny Devotions; connect with Tom on Facebook
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