What To Do When You Keep Coming In Second Place In Job InterviewsExecutive Communityon May 13, 2024 at 7:12 pm Work It Daily


If you keep coming in second place in job interviews—not getting the job and losing it to somebody else—this is for you. I work with a lot of people who get desperate because they come in second place in the interview process a few times. They think there’s something wrong, when in reality there’s something they’re simply not doing right enough in job interviews to beat the competition, come in first place, and land that job offer.

So, what is that something? Not agitating the pain of the employer to show them how they are the aspirin to that pain.

You Need To Agitate The Employer’s Pain & Become The Must-Have Candidate

Most people go into job interviews and want to be that pleasant person that everybody gets along with, so you focus on trying to say the right answer to create this smooth, welcoming environment. And that’s important. You should do that. But what happens is you end up coming across as the nice-to-have candidate, not the must-have candidate.

At some point in time in the interview process, you have to agitate the employer’s pain. You have to have the foresight and the vision to talk about all the things that can go wrong if they don’t hire someone like you for the job.

This is where interview prep becomes vitally important. The interview is where you make or break it. The interview is where I can give you the most amount of guidance so that you become the must-have candidate. It’s not rocket science. You just have to know how to answer the questions to show that you are the aspirin, not the vitamin. You’re the must-have, not the nice-to-have.

For example, when the hiring manager asks you, “Tell me about a time you overcame a difficult challenge,” you should have done your homework prior to the interview and be able to talk specifically about a workplace challenge that would be very similar to the work that you would be doing at this company. Then, what you do is something called catastrophizing where you talk about the situation and everything that could have gone wrong and really hurt the business/your employer, and then you explain how you solved/overcame it, detailing the positive outcome.

I’m not telling you to make this up. I’m telling you to spend some time doing structured interview prep. At Work It DAILY, we teach people a model called “Experience + Learn = Grow” which is the same type of storytelling with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Once you learn how to answer interview questions using this model, it’s like stealing the opponent’s playbook because now we can show you the 18 most common questions you get asked in job interviews and then teach you how to catastrophize them with your very own real-life stories and show the employer the happy ending.

These subtle changes to the way you present and answer questions in job interviews will take you next level, and the best part about it is that when you become the must-have candidate, they don’t want to lose you. So when they give you the job offer, you sit in the driver’s seat to do things like negotiate salary.

I can’t stress this enough. Do not sleep on interview prep. Make sure you’re utilizing a format for storytelling like “Experience + Learn = Grow” that really agitates the pain. Make sure you’re up to date on the most common behavioral questions that you’ll be asked. Invest that little bit of time. The return on investment for interview prep is unbelievable, and it will solve this problem of you coming in second place.

Good luck, and go get ’em!

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