Let’s face it, finding a job is tough to begin with. Getting an interview is another battle, but actually acing it… Well, now there’s a real challenge for most men.
Land the job of your dreams.
I’ll show you exactly how to do it. However, there’s only one catch:
You must be willing to sell the best version of yourself, and must without question, actually believe it!
In this guide on the top 50 best job interview tips for men, you’ll find everything you need to know. From answering questions to your clothing presentation, dealing with all the tomfoolery interviewers and hiring managers throw your way, and much more.
If you think you know how to get through an interview, I strongly encourage you to think again. Perhaps these tips below will make you realize just how f-cked up you are!
My intent isn’t to help you make your job interview go “just alright.” After going through it, you’ll know exactly what it takes to be the best, brightest, and high-performance individual that employers today, crave and beg!
I wish you the best for your job search now and in the future.
1. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Stand in front of the mirror and rehearse what you’re going to say. Mentally focus on acing the job interview in your head throughout the day. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes. The truth is, speakers who give talks at large conventions in front of thousands of people do the same thing. They mentally prepare over and over, a million times, to overcome stage fright.
Another option to consider is taking job interviews at places you have absolutely zero interest in working at. You have nothing to lose. If that’s not possible, consider practicing in front of your peers. Family members are generally too forgiving and avoid being brutally honest.
2. Do your homework.
The person interviewing you is going to be putting you through a full background check. Quietly do the same for them. It’s not difficult to find someone’s Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin these days. All it takes is a first and last name. The key here is to know who you’re going into business with.
Of course, you’ll also gain the advantage of being able to build rapport with the person interviewing you. If they love skiing to death and you find them constantly talking about it on their Facebook account, use it to secretly relate to them. If you’re a younger gentleman, you’ll see older men bringing up their kids, favorite sports teams, etc. with other people all the time. Over the years they’ve learned how to connect with people. Most of the top salesmen in this world take full advantage of that too.
The same goes for company research. Before going to a job interview gather as much data as possible about the enterprise. For instance, you can find quarterly reports by Goldman Sachs without a whole lot of trouble. Most of the larger companies out there today publish all kinds of information publically. Even a quick glance at their news coverage or social media accounts can give you an insider look at what the company is currently working on.
If you want to stay up on the latest, then consider using Google Alerts. It doesn’t cost anything, and all the new stories published online get sent straight to your inbox for review.
3. Know why you want to work there.
When you are asked, the most obvious answer is going to be “for the money you doofus!”
Unfortunately, while that answer is genuine and honest, it doesn’t cut it! Employers are going to be looking for more. You’ve got to come up with a really compelling reason.
4. You’re hiring for what?
The truth is, a good deal of employers out there have absolutely no clue when it comes to knowing what kind help they actually need. They claim they do, but let’s be real here. At best, it’s a wild ass guess. The more people they interview, the closer they get to actually figuring it out.
Focus on selling them the idea of why they need you. If you did your homework above, you’d have some discussion points to work with. When I was interested in a start-up tech job years ago, I brought a list of twenty things that were wrong with the company’s website and digital strategy. I was no longer someone who just helped with “general marketing” so to say. Instead, I was someone who knew how to deal with all the sh-t they couldn’t fully understand. I became an asset they had to have or hire better said. It wasn’t requested of me either. I just f-cking did it.
5. Tailor your skill set to the specific job.
If they are looking for someone who’s an pro at selling over the phone, be that person.
Tailor your resume to fit the bill. When you bring up your past working experiences, focus on how your skills can transfer over. It doesn’t matter if you were a taxi cab driver looking to handle sales calls or leads. You can explain how you had great conversations with all your riders in your cab on a daily basis. Over the years you’ve become a master communicator; one who’s able to build quick rapport with anyone and everyone.
In the opposite regard, imagine the same resume only this time, it explains how you were such a great driver with zero accidents or traffic tickets. Additionally, you always managed to show up on time for the customer. In reality, none of that sh-t matters! If it doesn’t transfer over to what the employer is looking for, in this case, someone who has stellar communication skills, then the value diminishes significantly!
6. Past jobs and titles don’t mean much on their own.
What you accomplished at the time matters the most. What skills you have learned. How you’ve dealt with challenges and obstacles and ultimately overcame them. These are the types of things the person interviewing you is going to want to know. You must be able to provide more information than just stating that you were the CEO at ABC company. You’ll need to cover exactly what you did there, what you were responsible for, and examples of tasks you handled.
Remember, people love case studies. They can’t get enough of them. Sell the person interviewing you a fairytale-like story of success. Make them believe you are their saviour.
7. Your greatest weakness and best assets.
What do you actually bring to the table?
Employers aren’t looking for a perfect person here. No one is perfect. Instead, they are looking to see how eager you are to improve in areas where you aren’t as strong. When you’re authentic, you become memorable.
Of course, you can really screw yourself over on this question if you say things like poor time management, aka being late to work. Not being able to complete tasks, staying organized, and so on.
8. Dress well. This isn’t a fashion show!
Suit and tie. Period! I don’t care what the job entails or how much it pays. You dress to impress! You show the person interviewing you the best version of yourself. You show them that you are respectful, considerate and not a lazy bum! In the tech world, I’m sure you can get away with a dress shirt and pants, as hoodies and jeans are the workday norm. However, when you are going in wearing a suit, you set yourself miles apart from the rest. Sure you stand out, but you also get remembered in a positive way.
No jewelry, no sneakers, no bold or bright colors. Stick with navy, blue, black, white and gray. Over the years I have learned that black can be quite powerful, and at times, too powerful. There’s really only one color that you can’t go wrong with, especially when you’re dealing with women: Navy/Blue. It’s professional and non-aggressive.
9. No smoking, drinking or eating.
Avoid the dreaded cigarette, coffee or tuna breath! Just before you leave for an interview, remember to brush your teeth or use mouthwash. Remember, you can’t always smell odors, but trust me, the other person talking to you certainly can!
10. Don’t arrive right on time.
Arrive 15 min early. It shows respect for their time. You might be waiting in the lobby for a solid half-hour, but that’s life! Deal with it.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the job. For some of you, you may feel like this is your one and only chance. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself as it will only make you more nervous than you have to be.
Look, I get it, getting the job is important. However, here’s the deal: Life throws ups and downs our way, and it always works out for the better if you are willing to learn from your past mistakes and move forward. If you screw this one up, perhaps you will do far better at the next one. Speaking of the next interview, it could pay far better, and your route to management could be much easier. Unless you can see the future, you never have all the answers as to what would or could have happened!
12. Know how to negotiate.
You’re going to get thrown curveballs, and they are not just going to be over salary. An interviewer could mention that you don’t have enough experience in a certain field. You’ve got to be able to convince them that your other skills, won’t just transfer over, but they will be far more valuable in the long run.
Job interviews are a lot like selling cars to customers at a dealership. Only in this situation, you’re selling yourself to a prospecting buyer. You won’t always have everything they are looking for. However, you can’t call it quits when you have room to negotiate.
13. Don’t be a doormat.
It’s okay to be loosely aggressive and outgoing.
Act like a leader who isn’t afraid to take charge. At some point, you’ll have to put on your defenses. The interviewer will try to catch you off guard. If you submit to something you don’t agree with, then well, you’re f-cked. Most of the time they’ll use that against you, and you simply can’t go back and change what you said.
14. Act like you’re high on life.
Have a sense of energy. Be upbeat and confident.
Don’t moap around because you’re depressed and out of work. It can be really hard to feel good when you’re down, but you’ve got to overcome that feeling. If it helps, use the excitement of the possible new job as a way to boost your morale. If that’s not enough, consider something bold before you go into an interview: Like skydiving a few days before or anything that involves risk.
15. Have manners.
Be polite. Make sure “thank you” and “please” makes its way into your vocabulary. “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” are far better choices than “Yeah,” “Yeah man,” “No doubt,” “Word,” and so on.
Don’t chew gum.
16. Use body language to your advantage.
You’re not a sloth. Don’t slouch back in your chair like you are in a therapy session.
Maintain eye contact when you’re talking and listening to the interviewer. Avoid touching your face. Nod, smile, and be in the present moment. If you have hands, use them to convey your point across.
17. Fire questions on back.
Interviewers love being asked questions. It makes sense when you consider that they are doing all the question asking in the first place. Ask them how long they’ve been with the company. What they enjoy the most. What they believe is the biggest struggle for their team. How they measure success. The average period an employee works for their company.
Feel confident enough to ask if they have any concerns with you being successful in the position.
18. Sell but close the deal.
You can’t close a deal if you don’t speak up!
Don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps are. Ask when you can expect to hear a response back from them. Or when they plan on making an offer. Discuss who you should reach out to if you have any questions in the future.
Most importantly, if you want the job, say so! The interviewer has put you under the spotlight for on average, a good hour or so. Put them under the spotlight when it comes to closing the deal.
19. Thank them for their time.
Not just in person but afterward over the phone, via email, or through a handwritten letter in the mail. You’d be surprised by how many people simply do not do that! Just because the interview is over doesn’t mean the job is completely off the table.
If you don’t hear back, don’t be afraid to hound them, just not to death. It’s a part of being a good salesman. Do you think after a customer leaves the showroom of a dealership the salesmen just go no contact? No. They call them until the client says, “Don’t ever call me again!” They don’t stop until the customer either buys or dies!
20. Be honest.
For the most part. It’s easy to get caught up in a lie and appear as someone who’s simply not trustworthy. If you are unsure of something, don’t guess and shoot yourself in the foot. Instead, tell them you would be more than happy to find out and get back to them with an answer.
21. Be considerate of their time.
Don’t drag on your answers for an hour each. While you’ll want to convey a lot of information about yourself in a short period, you must remember to never over do it. If you chat their ear off, you might find yourself saying something on accident or by mistake that you can’t take back.
22. Explain how you can benefit the company.
What do you have to offer? If a hundred people also have the same skill set as you, then why would the interviewer choose you over everyone else? What do you bring to the table that no else can? You’ve got to paint them a picture as to why they need you and only you.
23. Clean up your social profiles.
That status update about your devil of an ex-girlfriend? Delete it. The photos of you drinking beer at 2 in the morning on top of a police car… Gone! While you might think those are prime and prominent examples, most totally overlook one thing: Complaints. 99% of the people who use social media do it. It’s aimed at others, companies, political parties, and so on. Ensure that everything is set to private and your privacy levels are selected to keep prying eyes out.
If you’re using Linkedin, build up your connections. Get some endorsements and recommendations going for yourself. Two is plenty to go from nobody to somebody. Spell and grammar check your bio description.
Most importantly, take a professional photo! Your Facebook selfie is not a professional photo. Ever wonder why a lot of CEO’s have photos that look like they were shot in an actual photography studio? There’s your answer!
24. Make time to meet their time.
Do not reschedule or say a particular date or time won’t work for you. If you agree to be there at 2 pm you show up at 1:45 pm ready to go. I don’t care if it’s your birthday, an anniversary, inconvenient for you, or a holiday. You show up, and you don’t complain about it! Period.
As a helpful tip, aim for the earliest job interview appointment whenever possible. If you can’t do that, then 10:30 am on a Tuesday is your next best bet. Avoid lunchtime before and after at all costs. It’s hard for an interviewer to feel good about you when they are starving and irritable. If they have just eaten a big meal, they are going to be a bit tired and not ready to hear you upbeat spiel.
Avoid the weekends, where you can interview on Friday and be forgotten about until Monday. The same can be said about Monday, in which the interviewer is just getting back to work and has way more things to take care of first. You want to get them at a time in the early/middle of the work week where they are sitting at their desk and ready to take action, aka hire you.
25. Take note of your voicemail.
If it’s funny or stupid, it’s gone! Don’t leave it blank and have a robot or beep set the impression. Set your mailbox recording to a professional and friendly one. It’s something most people fail to do! “This is so and so, I’m not available right now, but please leave your name and number, and I will be more than happy to get back in touch with you. Have a great day!” Beep.
26. Emphasize your willingness….
To learn, work as a team, handle projects on your own, and go above and beyond. Show your flexibility, interest in contributing to the company, and desire to be challenged.
27. Bring these along with you:
A pen, a piece of paper and an extra copy of your resume. You’ll more than likely jot down some notes, and hand them over your resume. If you only bring one copy of your resume, then what happens when you go blank? Unless you have a cheat sheet or a second resume in hand, you’re stuck and uncomfortable trying to answer when your brain goes dead.
If possible, bring along a few letters of recommendation. Include phone numbers or emails in the header of each. They will help you to stand out among countless other people who make it the interviewer’s responsibility to gather them. Have a list of people they can contact to see if you are who you say you are, readily available.
If you can’t find any recommendations and it’s last minute, don’t panic. Most will be okay with you providing them at a later time. Plus, it gives you an excuse to follow up and reconnect with them.
28. Turn off your cell phone!
Never take a phone call while in an interview. If you forgot to turn off the ringer like an idiot, you apologize and immediately turn it off. If that happens, just know that some employers might simply view you as too stupid and unorganized to take care of a simple task beforehand. Your chances go in the trash!
Believe without a shadow of a doubt that you’ve already got the job. Don’t second guess yourself, because the moment you do it will become a reality. Trust your gut, always! The mind is a d-mn powerful thing. Don’t let yours go to waste because a little fear got in the way.
30. Job hops and industry changes.
Explain how your moves ultimately align with achieving your long term goals. Understand that leaving a company after one year is not a a bad thing! Conventional wisdom is wrong in that regard. I’ve known plenty of guys who have job-hopped year after year to positions that went from $40K a year to $400K a year. You’ve got to do what it takes to reach your goals. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Understand that younger companies, for the most part, don’t care a whole lot about loyalty these days. Older gentlemen and women know the value of it, but for the younger generation, that concept is missing in the workplace. The idea of sticking with a company your entire life just isn’t the norm anymore. That’s not to say you can’t though. Whatever helps you reach your goals is what you should decide to do.
31. Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
It’s a classic question you’ll hear at most job interviews. “Not sure,” “I don’t know,” and “Working” are not real answers! They are sh-t ones.
Everyone’s goals are different; your response needs to be unique and honest. Convey a future place where you can act as if you had no limits to your abilities.
32. The dreaded, “Tell me about yourself” question.
For most of you, this loaded question sucks. There are a handful of ways to answer it. While you’d like to say, “In what regard,” you simply can’t do that!
You need to highlight to the interview or recruiter the most important things about you. You’re in a sense, painting them a picture of you as an all-star. You’re showing them how confident you are, how coherent you are, and giving them a snapshot of the impression you’ll make on the rest of the team. Build up your story by giving them a sense of your career trajectory. If you look at professional speakers, you’ll see the format they use to gradually snowball things to keep the audience hooked.
33. Your previous or current job.
It doesn’t matter how terrible or awful your former or current boss was or is. You should never bring that up! If you got fired because they were stupid or you punched them in the face for being a doofus, it should not be shared with the interviewer.
We all have worked with people we have disliked in the past. If you bring them up in a negative spotlight, you’ll appear to be someone who likes to complain. Not to mention, someone who can’t work around challenging obstacles in the workplace.
34. Eat a substantial, healthy meal beforehand.
I need to stress the word, “healthy” here. If you eat fast food, you’re going to feel terrible and sluggish. The last thing you want to do is to go into an interview hungry, uncomfortable and irritable. Or perhaps stomach sick, because all the greasy junk food you ate isn’t working out so well with your nervous mindset.
35. Mimic them.
Don’t be a parrot per say, but take note of their body language, posture, pitch, and tone. If they are relaxed and calm when meeting you, don’t walk in their office guns blazing, ready to cut their head off.
36. Use networking to your advantage.
I don’t always agree with the old saying, “It’s all about who you know,” however, it does work.
If you really want to land a job either before or after an interview, find someone who has or is currently working at the company. Ask them for a recommendation or to put in a good word for you. Their act of persuasion can go a long way into securing you the job. Even if someone else is more qualified than you, a lot of interviewers will often trust the word of an older or current employee first and foremost.
37. Make sure your clothing is presentable.
While I touched on the suit and tie bit above, there’s more to it.
Ensure your outfit is clean, tailored to your body, and ironed. Even the nicest suit in the world will look terrible on you if it has wrinkles, stains or drapes down your body like an oversized garbage bag.
38. Pay attention to your grooming.
I don’t encourage any man to cut their beard for a job interview. Period. I do, however, encourage you to trim it up so that it is both neat and presentable. If it is too long then surely you can make somewhat of a sacrifice here.
While you can often get away with a beard, a long head of hair, on the other hand, is a classic job stopper. It doesn’t fit into the societal norms nor the expectation of how everyone is to look. People judge based on appearances; it’s just a fact of life. Get a haircut the day before a job interview and make it short. It will open many doors for you.
Don’t overlook the little things either. I’m talking about trimming your fingernails, shining your shoes, and using a lint roller to remove dog hair, lose strands, and so on.
When it comes to cologne, please don’t overdo it. Many suggest wearing none at all, but my job interview tips are a little bit different. Scent is memorable, and I firmly believe you should wear it.
39. Get plenty of rest.
Easier said than done, I know.
40. Avoid all your personal issues.
You’re not going to ace an interview just because you told the hiring manager you’re broke and in deep financial pain. It doesn’t look good when you are seen as being a person who can’t manage their finances in life. The same can be said for things like child care or even your age.
Remember, there are certain subjects you really shouldn’t bring up. Your problems are just that, your problems. Not theirs! A stroll down guilt trip lane rarely, if ever works.
As a bonus tip, pay down your credit card bills to boost up your credit score before you start job hunting. If your utilization is high, lowering balances can signficantly help boost your credit score. Understand that a great deal of hiring managers do end up combing through your credit scores to determine how accountable and responsible you are.
41. Hiring managers aren’t always your best friends.
A great deal will take advantage of you with every chance they get.
Certain folks are super sneaky c-nts about it. I’ve heard of instances where some have put out photos of their kids on their desk for you to see. The problem is they don’t actually have kids, and the picture is fake. They use it as a way to get you to share if you have children without needing to ask about it directly. Others are less tactical and will simply look for a wedding band on your finger.
Some have their own bias, including only hiring those who are currently employed or hold a job in the present moment. Others will convince you to mention your salary; only to use that data against you, or to rule you out as a candidate when the number is far too small for the open position. In any event, many will simply be looking for any reason possible to give you the boot!
In a lot of cases, hiring managers don’t have a single clue as to what they are actually supposed to be doing. So they just wing it. You might find yourself sitting in a job interview where you are more prepared than the person interviewing you. It happens.
Remember, that’s not to say every hiring manager out there is like this, just some.
42. The overqualified threat.
It’s crazy to think that being overqualified for a position is a bad thing. You’d bring more to the table and yield better results than other candidates for the job right? Unfortunately, some won’t see it that way. Some hiring managers will view you as a competitor when it comes to getting future promotions.
The key takeaway job interview tip here is to remember one thing: The person hiring you wants you to make them look good! No the other way around. They aren’t hiring someone who’s going to outshine them!
43. Don’t get discouraged.
If you feel the job interview isn’t going well don’t abandon ship.
Sometimes it’s simply a test to gauge how you’ll respond and react to things. It doesn’t always mean that the interview is going terrible or that you’re absolutely bombing it. Remember, mentally believing you will get the job can push you past all of that if you would just trust yourself.
A single slip-up shouldn’t ruin your chances completely. Often over the course of an hour, the person interviewing you might not remember that specific moment. Understand that you’re throwing a lot of information at them. They aren’t going to memorize it all, only bits and chunks!
44. Don’t ask stupid questions!
It doesn’t matter how many sick days, holidays or paid days off you get! You can negotiate those things later. The last thing you want to do is to look like a chump who only cares about how often they can take off from work.
45. On situations where you didn’t get along with a boss or co-worker.
You’ll be asked to talk about them, and no, saying that you got along with everyone “just fine” won’t be a suffice answer. When you do that, it sets off a red alarm in your interviewer’s head and makes them second-guess your level of honesty.
The truth is, they are looking to see if you have developed a thick skin; meaning that you can handle confrontation. If you can’t come up with an answer, you may be viewed as inexperienced or unready to deal with a role that requires being uncomfortable from time to time.
46. Failed projects
You’ll be asked to explain a time when you were a part of a project that failed. It could be a team assignment or an individual one. Now, every man out there makes mistakes and experiences failure. That’s just a fact of life. In reality, failure is what makes us grow as better, stronger and more intelligent people. We all have to take risks from time to time.
When you respond, your answer should convey your level of responsibility, your capacity to recover and learn from your mistakes, alongside your decision-making methods. The key here is to display that you have actually taken a risk, either big or small and used failure as a learning experience to improve from. As a bonus tip, go further and explain how you used those lessons you learned in relation to a more recent project. It will make your answer appear rock solid.
47. What are you doing when you’re not at work?
Netflix, video games, and so on are not good answers. Unless of course, you’re applying to work at Netflix or interested in becoming a video game developer.
Try to mention things where groups are involved such as pick up sports leagues or clubs. If you enjoy skiing alone, for example, don’t feel afraid to mention it. Perhaps you have won an award or several while out on the slopes. You can also mention your favorite things to read. Personally, I like suggesting books for the interview to read and explain why they should read them. If you throw out five or six titles (business related) they’ve never heard of, most often assume you really do read, a lot! Of course, everyone likes being an insider when it comes to hearing about things they are missing out on.
In any event, don’t bring up your favorite politician party or religious involvement. It can create conflict if an interviewer is overly sensitive and doesn’t agree with your views.
48. Why did you leave your last company?
This question is really just about uncovering the type of character and personality you have. If you didn’t get along with your past boss or co-workers, the chances of you having issues in a new workplace could be high. The hiring manager is simply probing for the juicy details of your troubled past.
If getting a raise was a problem, the interview might wonder if you weren’t valuable enough to the company to actually get one. Of course, the company could have been having financial issues unrelated to you as well.
Just remember to keep it positive and honest whenever possible. There are a lot of reasons to leave your last company, and not all of them are going to be negative. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Avoid letting them assume the worst.
49. Know where to go.
Some businesses have HQ’s where it’s impossible to find the brand sign. So you drive around wasting 10 min you can’t afford, trying to locate the right building. Or perhaps parking is a nightmare on a busy, crowded city street and you’re stuck walking a mile just to get there.
Get directions early on and map out your route with roadblocks that get in the way. Things like accidents, traffic jams, needing to fill up for gasoline, flat tires, etc. happen.
50. Ask to meet up for coffee.
Let’s face it; most people enjoy stepping away from their desk and getting out of the office once in a while. Not all hiring managers can do that, but give them a business-related excuse they can use, and some will gladly do it.
Of course, consider how a great deal of first dates start off in coffee shops. It’s a good place to be: The environment is often more relaxing, and you’ll often feel less pressure. An excellent, aromatic cup of Joe always helps too. In some cases and career fields, you might be asked to go to a whiskey bar instead. I have, and I don’t mind at all.
51. Bonus tip: Know how to give a proper handshake.
Nothing is worse then shaking hands with someone who acts like a dead, wet fish. By that I mean: Hands that are limp and palms that are sweaty. Be firm when giving a good hanshake but avoid being a bone crusher. When it comes to shaking hands with women, give them a real handshake, not the light, lady-like version.
A good handshake lasts on average for 3 seconds. Etiquette rules vary from person to person on the number of pumps, however, 2 to 3 are what you should be aiming for.