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When I hired new mentors for the Career Preparation Department, I never counted someone out because of a resume. Yes, a good resume got candidates to the top of my list, but I have interviewed enough people to know that the interview is dramatically more important than a resume (no matter how good the resume is).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing resumes, I just want everyone to understand that spending 10 hours preparing a resume compared to 30 minutes preparing for an interview isn’t exactly efficient.

In two consecutive hiring periods, we ended up hiring the person with the worst initial resume both times! The worst resume didn’t get hired every cycle, but it illustrates my point: an interview is much more important than a resume.

Here are the four most important interviewing tips for your consideration:

1. Share specific examples to prove how you added value in past experiences.

In most interviews I conduct (practice or not), 9 times out of 10 the interviewee fails to provide a specific example to back up the skill she claims to have. It is not enough to tell me that you are a hard worker, I want to hear about the time you stayed late after work every day for a week to finish your awesome project. Past success is the greatest indicator of future success.

the best interview tips

2. Mind your body language.

They say 55% of communication comes from body language, 38% through vocal elements, and 7% from words. Take a look at this article by The Muse to get some ideas for how to present yourself well.

interviewing professionally

3. Turn your interview into a conversation. Don’t settle for an interrogation.

Most have an incorrect notion about job interviews. They believe that the job of the interviewer is to ask all of the questions and the job of the interviewee is to give all the answers.

This is not true. Think back to the last engaging conversation you had with someone and think about the elements that made it great. Both parties were asking questions, stories were shared, and a sort of bond was made.

Do your best to turn your job interview into an interesting job conversation. (Don’t take over the interview, rather, contribute to the experience in a meaningful way.)

4. Lastly, ask questions based on research or what came up in the interview.

The most important question I ask in an interview is, “Do you have any questions for me?” When people don’t have questions at the end of an interview, I assume one of two things:

1. They aren’t interested


2. They lack intelligence

Of course, I know that most people who don’t ask questions aren’t unintelligent, but think about it from my point of view: We just spent a half-hour speaking together about a big potential change to your life, and I know that you’ve had time to try to learn about our company and the position.

If you haven’t thought of any questions to ask, I perceive either a lack of interest or intelligence. Lacking either is a huge red flag.

the best interview tips

There are other items to consider about interviewing, but I believe these four principles are the most essential. By abiding by them you should be able to enhance your interviewing skills and end up with a great new job or internship.

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