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Interview Jitsu


What is Interview Jitsu? Think about this scenario –

You are a recent graduate. The job market seems saturated and the odds don’t always look like they are in your favor. The debt is backbreaking. While you prep resume perhaps all you’re thinking of is how you would give anything just to land this job!

Maybe this is the story of someone you know, or perhaps even rings true to you. According to Glassdoor only 2% of applicants will even be called for an interview. What will you do when you get that chance?

When many of us think of interviewing perhaps we imagine a borderline sterilized process. Breaking our your best suites, gabbing on about our alma mater, and prepping that safe story about the bake sale we held for our fraternity/sorority.

While for a few of us that may work, the fact of the matter is that not everybody can afford to go to an Ivy League school. Perhaps even fewer of us really focused on networking to get us the opportunities out of school. If you’re in the same boat that most college graduates are in, you’re probably asking…

“How the heck can I compete?”

Interview Jitsu is not…

Fortunately, if you’ve made it to the interview stage, many companies have already decided that your merits are fitting for the job. What this means is that we need to beware of this ONE CRUCIAL MISTAKE that many of us get sucked into while interviewing…

Speaking off our resume.

Instead, this is the time to show the company why YOU are the perfect fit for the job. Not your resume. You. So what is your secret attack?

Secret Attack = Your experience + Your personality + Tie-In

Let me give you an example…

Creating Your Secret Attack

I was having a conversation with a friend who was on the hunt for a job. They wanted to know how to stick out from the crowd. First we found experiences they had that few others shared – in this instance it was going skydiving.

Skydiving makes for a great story, but is not necessarily attention grabbing. So this is where personality comes in.

When I asked them what was that experience like, especially anything particularly memorable from their point of view, they mentioned something that was quite entertaining. This individual said that their skydiving instructor said that they were the loudest screamer that they have ever dived with.

Going back to an interview setting, I have seen plenty of group interviews where people have to share an interesting fact about themselves to the group and the interviewers. Who are you going to remember more? The person that says that they’ve been skydiving? Or the person who says they hold the unofficial record of being the loudest person over 10,000 feet?

Naturally you are going to pique curiosity and from there it is all about the story!

The Tie-In

Makes for a memorable story, but let’s not forget our objective! We want to show how our experiences make us the ideal candidate. In this case it is simple – no matter how terrified my friend was about skydiving they did it anyway simply because of the experience and willingness to explore.

Now more than ever companies are looking for people that will fit their culture – and a graduate degree from Harvard doesn’t mean much in the realm of who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality, and have fun with it!



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