Maybe you're looking for work because you lost your job due to COVID, or maybe you have a job but are looking for something better. Whatever your situation, read on to learn three clear and practical strategies for turning your interviews into job offers.

  1. Address the elephant in the room. In the case of job hunting, the “elephant” is any career weakness or challenge you feel you need to overcome in order to get the position. It could be a gap on your resume from when you were unemployed or took time off. Or maybe you have short job tenures. Maybe you are older and feel like you're facing age discrimination. Whatever your elephant is, I have an unconventional strategy for you: acknowledge it instead of trying to cover it up.

When I'm coaching someone who has a gap on their resume due to a leave of absence or a period of unemployment, I recommend that they address it head-on. Explain that gap, rather than ignoring it or trying to cover it up and hoping that employers don't notice it – because they will notice it. It's better to include and explain this gap on your resume, and even mention it during your interview, so that YOU control the narrative.

If you wait for someone else to bring up your career elephant, it will put you in a defensive mode where you have to explain yourself. You don’t want to be in a position of defending your career choices, your age, or other sensitive issues. You want to be able to discuss and explain it with confidence before the employer can ask about it. When working with job seekers dealing with age discrimination, I suggest they say something like, “I may look overqualified for this job, but because of my experience in [give examples], I'm a great fit, and this position is aligned with my career goals and values.”

Whatever concerns you have about your work history or background, get comfortable and confident by practicing discussing it in interviews. Explain it and frame it in a positive light, even if it’s a choice you later regretted. Own, it, explain it, and then move on.

  1. Ask this one question at the beginning of your job interview. After greeting the employer, say this: “Before we get started, I want to thank you for inviting me here, and I'd like to ask you a quick question. What was it about my resume or application that stood out to you and prompted you to contact me for an interview?”

Why is this question so powerful? Because it forces the employer to start the interview by saying something positive about you. It also gives you valuable feedback about your resume and cover letter. That feedback is usually difficult to get from employers, so this is a great opportunity to find out what you did right. You will get insights into why they chose you as a candidate, and why they believe you’re a good fit for the job. Best of all, their answer can provide you with talking points to focus on during the interview.

  1. Be a problem solver. Always try to present yourself as a problem solver, whether you’re writing your resume, networking, or interviewing. Employers have openings because they are looking to address specific needs and challenges, like increasing sales, hiring more people, creating new products, and improving productivity. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the employer’s problems and to show how you addressed similar issues for past employers. In your resume and during your interviews, use storytelling: give specific examples showing how you achieved outcomes similar to the ones the employer is seeking. Explain in detail how you effectively provided solutions. Storytelling is a very compelling tool in the job search. What stories do you plan to share?

For more on this topic, listen to episode 90 of the Career UpRising podcast Three Strategies To Get More Job Offers on iTunes or at
Share this Post: