“The thing you gotta know is – everything is show biz” – Mel Brooks

Interviews are performances, and performances must be practiced. You must be prepared to answer tough interview questions. Have you prepped properly? What is your opening branding statement? What questions have you anticipated, and how are you prepared to answer them?

Have your top TSNs (Three Sentence Narratives) primed and ready. It is always best to include an accomplishment in your answer whenever possible. It’s one thing to tell me you can ride a horse – better to show me how by backing your answer with a SAR (Situation / Action / Result) displaying how accomplished you are as an equestrian. You should never try to be something that you are not. The interviewer will see right through you. Be yourself, answering the questions truthfully while qualifying your answers. Your performance in the interview should focus on a positive attitude, energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, knowing your audience.

As you sit in the lobby, sizing up your competition and you notice that another applicant was on your son’s little league team, does the song “Life’s Run Over My Face A Couple Of Times” run through your mind? Competition is fierce these days, and the applicant pool is full of younger faces with fresh degrees that are willing to work for much less money.

Many companies overlook the more experienced (older) applicant and hire more agile (younger) candidates in order to save money for the company. As an employer, I take the opposite approach. Our company embraces age – in most cases, age equals valuable experience. A seasoned, experienced employee has faced and overcome challenges and arrives at the table better prepared. The experienced applicant can navigate the company through unexpected challenges – they know where the rocks are in the road. If you fall into this category, you need to communicate the professional accomplishments that most qualify you for the position.

Let’s look at some difficult questions and the best way to answer them…

Excerpt from the book “How To Succeed In Spite Of Yourself” by John Singer

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