How to Land Your Next Job – 4 Levels of Interview Expectations

Imagine that you are about to interview for a job. You want to do well and land the position. You are about to enter the interview room. Now, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your mindset about the interview?
  • How do you intend to behave?
  • What points do you want to emphasize?
  • What choices will you make?

I’d like to help you CRUSH your next interview by providing a different way of looking at your mindset, choices, and behaviors.

Take a moment to think about this reality.

When you walk into your next job interview, you are one in a line of people interviewing for the same job. Only one person will get the offer.

There is a good chance that when they are going through their notes and deciding who to hire, someone will refer to you be asking, “Now, which person is this?”

If you want to CRUSH your next job interview, you need to consider your mindset, behaviors, and choices.

Here’s a run down of what each it looks like to meet, exceed, anticipate, and establish expectations in your next interview.

1.  Meet expectations:

  • Enter the room.
  • Adequately answer their questions.
  • Provide a decent looking resume.
  • Thank them for their time.
  • Off you go.

You met their expectations. You likely won’t receive an offer.

2. Exceed expectations:

  • Enter the room with a quality handshake.
  • Effectively answer their questions.
  • Provide an impressive resume.
  • Thank them while clearly conveying you want the job.
  • Off you go and you follow-up with a thank you note.

You exceeded their expectations. You will likely get an offer, especially if everyone else simply met expectations.

3. Anticipate expectations:

  • Enter the room with a quality handshake and a clear understanding of who you are meeting.
  • Impressively answer their questions and ask good ones yourself based on a firm understanding of the company and the job.
  • Provide a resume tailored to the open position, showing that your experience maps to the role.
  • Thank them, let them know you want the job, and send a well written and thoughtful thank you note.

You anticipated their expectations. You should get an offer!

4. Establish expectations:

  • Own the room, without being egotistical.
  • Teach them something they didn’t know, without lecturing.
  • Demonstrate that you have already done what they are looking for, without being arrogant.
  • Make them forget that anyone else interviewed, without saying a negative word.
  • Let them know that you appreciate their time and want the job, without being patronizing.

You established their expectations. Now, here’s the twist…

You may or may not get an offer. That’s okay.

If they offer you a job – take it. They value you and your approach. You will likely thrive in the culture.

If they don’t offer you a job – be good with it. Move on…it wasn’t a good fit. In the long-run, you would’ve likely been disappointed.

Final thought…

In most situations, meeting, exceeding, anticipating, or establishing expectations is a choice!

It starts with you choosing how much you are willing to prepare, practice, perform and put it out there.

Now go and CRUSH it!


Over the years, I’ve had the chance to interview and hire a lot of people. My first hiring experience occurred at KPMG Consulting when I was looking to expand my team. More recently, as the owner of a consulting firm with offices in three states and an ever growing staff, I made hiring decisions for 11 years as we experienced tremendous growth.


Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash