Brag books aren't just for jobs in art or sales. Brag books can help almost anyone in a job interview, because it offers powerful proof and visual representation of what you say you have done. It's evidence that acts as another reference for you. These are very impressive in job interviews, and can strengthen your candidacy and improve your offer.
Job interview answers that make hiring managers sit up and take notice of you are ones that clearly show how you will be a benefit to the company. With that in mind, here are 9 links to answers in my How to Answer Interview Questions Series that will especially help you grab that attention—and the offer.
Click the links to go to detailed answers for each interview question.
Tell me about yourself– your answer here sets the tone for the entire interview and gives them a succinct framework for why you would be a great hire.
This is a great story. TJ wowed them so much that a hard-to-get-into company searched to find just the right position for him. Congratulations, TJ!
I wanted to tell Peggy McKee a thousand thank yous.
Even though I narrowly lost out on the position I interviewed for, they were [so] impressed with the answers I gave based on her advice that they searched to find a position for me. I wound up getting a different, equally exciting job offer with the same company (who are hard to get into to).
In job interviews, employers will be very interested to know how you will plan to approach the job if they hire you. The best way to answer that question is with a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
Jeanne was having a lot of trouble landing a job offer (lots of applications, lots of interviews). She knew she needed help to land the job offer, so for her next interview, she got my 30 60 90 Day Sales Plan. See what happened:
Hello Peggy! I just wanted to let you know my results from using your 30 60 90 day sales plan. ...I moved from NJ to AZ [but] I didn't have a job waiting for me here and thought it would be easy to get a job once I got here. Well, turned out to be the exact opposite.
Fast forward almost five months, after countless online applications and interviews that I never heard anything back from, I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a job that sounded amazing! My confidence [was] now a bit shaken and deep down I had some insecurities that I was never going to get this job.
I had a phone interview with the recruiter (who works for the employer) and took an online assessment and made it to my first in-person interview with the hiring manager. The interview went great!
As we wrapped up he said we are going to have another interview and I want you to be able to tell me in our next meeting how you plan on tackling this job. I really wanted this job so I started researching online and came across your web site. After watching any video that was available on you and the 30 60 90 day plan, I knew I needed you. Let me also say that since I have been without a job for so long, money was super tight! I knew I couldn't afford not to spend the money on this. I was going to do whatever I had to do to nail this interview.
With the help of your site, I put together my 30 60 90 day sales plan. At my next interview, when the hiring manager asked if I had given any thought as to how I would tackle the job and when I responded with "well yes I have. I have prepared a 90 day plan that I would love to share with you" the look on his face was priceless!! He was not expecting this Peggy!!! I was so prepared for this interview with my written plan and with your guidance on how to present it. The interview went amazing. I was offered the job within 24 hours.
I can't thank you enough. What valuable information you pass along to job seekers. I start my new job on [date removed] and know I have you to thank. I thought you may like to hear my story and how the 30 60 90 day sales plan worked for me.
Are you considering attending my Perfect Interview Answers Webinar? See what Matt had to say about how it helped him be more confident and advance through the hiring process:
I thought the webinar was extremely well done. I have been using a lot of the recommendations that you discussed in my Job Acquisition phase that I am currently in.
I was laid off ...from a company I spent the past 23+ years with. Needless to say I had not interviewed other than various promotions within the company I had been with for a number of years.
I have had 5 interviews with a company that I am currently pursuing and am scheduled to fly to their home headquarters ... to meet with their CEO, COO, CFO, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Clinical Officer.
The timing of the [webinar] yesterday could not have been better for me as a refresher and I plan to use a lot of what was presented yesterday for my interview on Friday and am feeling very confident.
This is a free webinar where I coach you on how to deliver perfect interview answers to 4 of the most important interview questions, and give you insights on how to communicate with the hiring manager (interviewer) stronger and more effectively than ever before.
You even get a chance to get personalized expert advice in a free Question and Answer session!
With what you learn in this webinar you will have a big edge over your competition and you can get the job offer.
Do you dread job interviews? A lot of people do. How can you make job interviews exciting and fun? Ask Jane:
I am so thankful for your Phone Interview Tips. They are excellent. I wish I had had them sooner, because now I see why I was not successful in getting the jobs I really had wanted. I didn’t realize that a person could specify what time was best and thought I had to take it because they had phoned. I also had not known that I could be so bold as to ask for the next step in the interviewing process.
I now feel so much more confident in going for an interview — it was exciting and fun to be able to use these new techniques and watch the reactions of the interviewers. Thanks again. I still don’t have a job, but know one is around the corner. The products you offer are fantastic and you learn so much, and through it all you become more confident in yourself because of these. THANKS! - Jane
Jane says that gaining confidence from learning how to interview well is the secret to making interviews fun. Confidence while interviewing is huge...it will help you get hired.
What about interviewing holds you back and makes you not perform as well as you could? Take the reins into your own hands and learn what you need to be confident in your interviews. Here are some places to start:
See what an HR manager thinks of Career Confidential's webinars, insights, and advice for getting hired:
I was a recent participant on your webinars and took copious notes on many of your interview techniques. As an HR manager, I was aware of and agreed with your approach and expectations. Although I knew what to expect and how to interview, your comments gave me a fresh perspective and reminded me of things I had forgotten. I brought these back into practice and I was able to sell myself extremely well in my following phone screen interviews. My first face to face following the screen resulted in an offer for my dream job!
Thanks so much for your insight. I am a great believer in that regardless of our position we can always take something away from a workshop that will prove to be valuable. You provided that value for me. I am very grateful for your assistance.
What can we learn from this?
(1) No matter how experienced you are in your career, you can always be refreshed in your interview skills and even learn something new.
(2) You can get your dream job in one interview, if you interview well enough.
How you answer “Tell me about yourself” sets the tone of the entire interview. Your answer will either establish a positive bias toward you in the mind of the hiring manager—or it will show them you are not someone to be taken seriously for the job.
Click on the report below to preview this important job interview report:
In this “Quick Read” Report, you will see how to answer “Tell me about yourself”:
- How to Start
- What to Include in Your Answer (And What to Leave OUT)
- How to Make Your Answer Special So You Stand Out
You will bias the interviewer in your favor and boost your chances of getting the job offer.
When you get this report, you also get a BONUS SECTION:
The classic dilemma for career changers and new graduates is this: Employers want someone with experience (because they want proven ability), but you can't get experience unless you can get a job. So how can you show them you have the ability and get the job offer even when you don't have the actual experience of doing the job?
This was a question I recently received in one of the group coaching calls we have as a part of our Total Access Coaching Club, and I wanted to share it with you.
Here's the answer:
To convey ability without actual experience, the most important thing you can do is to provide them with a forward-looking document that shows what you would do in the job.
Present this document in the interview and communicate to them that “this is what I will do in the first 90 days of this job.”
When you create and present this document to them, you'll be demonstrating your ability to do the job without experience because you’ll be talking about key pieces of the job that you’ll execute on. They’ll be asking you questions and you’ll be answering them. Through your ability to answer those questions, through your ability to present that plan of what you can do and show them the insight you’re going to have in this job, you will convey your ability to do this job without experience.
The story below shows what a difference a 30-60-90-Day Plan can make in the level and quality of your communication in the interview. For Dereck, it made the difference between losing out on a job he could have done with his eyes closed and getting an offer (from another interview) for a more senior role at a higher salary:
After taking a 5-year career break to look after my children following the death of my wife, I decided ...to resume my career now that I am remarried and the children are much more independent. After having sooooo many job applications ignored or turned down...I finally got invited for an interview. It went dreadfully even though I could have done the job with my eyes closed.
I studied these with interest and did my preparation. Went to the interview with my question list and 306090 day plan, but some of my experience wasn’t broad enough. Although I was turned down for the job, the interviewing manager recommended me to his directors stating “this was the best prepared candidate I have ever seen and we would be mad to let him go”.
So I was invited back for another interview for a more senior role that didn’t yet exist, and for which they had no other candidates. This was a unique challenge – but I still did a 306090 day plan for it (based simply on a one-word hint from the recruiting team), extending it to cover tasks in months 4-6 and beyond
Today I was offered this more senior job, on a good salary, with promise of a review after 6 months to increase that further once the role has been properly scoped. I’m defining my own dream job!
And all because your books taught me to be prepared. Thank you so much for all the great advice.
Without a plan, he was totally qualified for the job--but he didn't get it. WITH the plan, they were so impressed with him that they invited him back to interview for a HIGHER level position they created just for him. It doesn't get any better than that.
Are you keeping up in the job interview 'arms race?' Interview prep has become more important than ever. You need to know how to research the company, what questions to ask, how to answer their tough questions, and prove that you are the best person to hire--all while presenting a calm, cool, and collected appearance.