How to ace the interview

Cheryl Casone, Fox Business news reporter/anchor

My career counseling ears perked up when I saw Fox Business News (FBN) reporter Cheryl Casone being interviewed by a colleague about how to land a job on the spot.

The reporter presented four techniques you can use at interviews: Figure out and know your strengths, practice talking about them with your family, prepare a list of questions you could be asked, and bring to the interview a portfolio of your work.

Cheryl gave excellent advice within the confines of a segment that lasted only a few minutes. So I’d like to give you some how-toos for the four powerful points made by the Fox reporter.

Uncovering your strengths is where your job search begins. If you’re unable to show how your strengths will benefit a prospective employer, your interviewer won’t know either. While there are many tools available for assessing your skills, one of the best techniques is to write your resume. The process reveals your achievements—the bullet points on your resume—that tell what you did and results obtained. By studying each bullet, you can determine which of your strengths or skills were used to make each achievement happen.

For example, let’s imagine a bulleted point on Cheryl Casone’s resume stated: Appeared on Fox News segment to present four skills that enable job hunters to ace interviews. Casone would then know the skills she used to make her interview a success: written and verbal communications….presentation skills…ability to organize….and research skills.

Knowledge of her skills will also enable Cheryl answer the interview question, “what are your strengtrhs? ”

Bring a portfolio of your work is Cheryl’s most unique suggestion. It’s unique because there’s nothing more effective than backing up your talking points with visuals—demonstrations of your work. Visuals can include samples of your writing, commendations and letters of recommendation received from clients, customers, and bosses, along with pictures of awards you’ve won.

You can either buy an inexpensive presentation booklet from an office supply store or put samples of your work on your smart phone or tablet. Cherlyl suggests you include a website you built to demonstrate you’re technically savvy.

Practice with family and friends. As presidential candidates wouldn’t appear on debates, town hall meetings, or be interviewed by Cheryl on FBN without having rehearsed-rehearsed-rehearsed with their staff, neither should you leave home without having practiced what you plan to say at interviews. Rehearse by yourself first, then with family members and friends who are willing to critique your answers.

You’ll find answers to all of the typical interview questions in the chapter titled “Interview questions—how to answer the toughies and strategic questions you should ask,” in my book Your One-Minute Job finding Coach. Click here to order from Amazon.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.