How to Interview Like a Pro

While we are in a competitive market and hiring is tight, Brian Fink, our Sr. Technical Recruiter from the RentPath Talent Acquisition team, put together some of our favorite interview tips to help you land that next step up in your career.

1.      Understand the business problem:

Whenever someone is making a hire, it’s because there is a business problem that needs to be solved. This is the crux of the interview and ultimately frames your conversation. The job description may list 10-15 bullet points, but chances are there are really 2-3 things that are top priority for the hiring manager. Try to understand what you can take off their plate Day 1 (or Day 30 or Day 90 or…) and share aspects of your experience that give them confidence that you can alleviate the pain they feel while this role sits vacant.  

Bonus Tip:  Not everyone who interviews you will necessarily see the business problem in the same way. Try to understand where this role intersects with each interviewer and how you can make their job easier.

2.      “Why are you looking to make a change?”:

This is your opportunity to give your thesis statement about why you’re super excited to interview for this particular role and/or this particular company.

Avoid the temptation to air your grievances about your current company, but rather compliment the things you’ve enjoyed about the experience and turn your focus to the great things this new opportunity can offer. “I’ve learned a lot at my current role, but when I heard about the chance to work for a company with a reputation like yours and gain exposure to X,Y, and Z, I couldn’t pass it up!”

3.      Close yourself as a candidate:

A strong way to finish your interview is to address, head-on, any concerns the new company may have regarding your background. Find a way to ask comfortably, in your own words, something along the lines of: “Mr/Ms hiring manager, I’m very excited about this opportunity, let me ask, do you have any concerns about my ability to be successful in the role?”  

The most important part of this question is to ask about their worries, concerns or doubts or in other words, “Why wouldn’t you hire me?”.    

Not everyone will candidly answer this question, but it gives them an opportunity put their concerns on the table and you the opportunity to give a 30-second elevator pitch about why you are the right person for the job. This also provides a chance to end the interview on a high note (and hopefully a chance to circle back if you didn’t answer that one question the way you or they had hoped).

4.      Have a good conversation:

One of the most underrated parts of interviewing is to simply connect personally and professionally with your potential coworkers.  

Don’t forget that you’re interviewing a company as much as they’re interviewing you and at the end of the day, people want to hire people they like and you want to work with people you like…especially if you’re going to spend 40, 50 or more (hopefully not) hours with them each week. Find your commonalities, understand what excites them about the company and have an honest conversation about how you can support the business problem and hiring manager.  

It’s no mystery that one of the most important aspects of job satisfaction is working for a great manager. The interview is your opportunity for that snapshot about the type of working relationship you will have with them.


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