Articles > Interview for Jobs as if you were a Consultant - by Scott Brown

The worst feeling many of us get when searching for a job is when you leave an interview knowing that you blew it. Not everybody knows when they blew it but most of us have enough experience to know when we were not that sharp.

There is in most of us an undeniable desire to achieve or to win at whatever we do and that applies to interviewing for a job as well. When you bomb an interview, it is just like losing a game. Most of us will go to great lengths to win whatever game we are playing but we rarely go that extra mile when it comes time to interview.

One analogy that may help you master the interviewing game is to think of yourself as a consultant – a hired gun, if you will. Consultants are expected to be at the top of their game and if they’re good, have their pick of assignments. Yet they also have a bedside manner that includes being respectful and patient with the client.


One important area in interviews is skills. If the new job requires a skill that you have not used in a while and it looks like that skill is a primary responsibility for that job, it is up to you to make sure you are fully abreast of the latest developments in utilizing that skill.

For example, let’s say you used MS Word very extensively 2 years ago and the new job you are pursuing requires expert level MS Word experience, you had better spend some time refreshing your skills on the latest version. Nothing looks worse than claiming to be an expert at something and then falling short when asked questions.

Interview Style

Most people go into an interview planning to just be themselves and that is not a bad idea. However, you need to make sure that “yourself” is the person they are looking for. So, if you are lacking in communication skills you should spend some time improving them. The best way to do this is to practice interviewing with your spouse and friends.

Go on the internet and find a list of commonly asked interview questions and their answers and start practicing so that when an interviewer throws you a curve ball (one of those really hard questions), you smoothly answer with aplomb and move on to the next question.

All in all, your ultimate goal is to interview like a consultant with recognized expertise being called in to solve a problem. You do this by creating a forceful yet respectful presence. You check your attitude at the door and you display humility and confidence throughout the interview. You take your newly sharpened skills and you respond beautifully to the loaded questions that test your level of expertise. And, you take your newly honed interview skills and you answer any and all questions with confidence.

If you pull off a smooth, effortless interview where you answered all of their questions, left them with a feeling of confidence in regards to your skills as well as your communications and just wowed them to the nth degree, you can be fairly sure they will call you in for another interview or to offer you the job. They will think that you already knew the job coming through the door.


Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook ( As editor of the weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.

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