3 Timeless Tips to Land Your Dream Job
Here’s how to put your best self forward, play to your strengths, and come out on top

February 23, 2015

Forget the Titles

Don’t limit yourself by what someone else is calling a particular job, says management psychologist Paul Powers, Ph.D., author of Love Your Job. The same position at one company could be entirely different at another. Instead of thinking you’re overqualified or underqualified for a role based on the title alone, find the right opportunity by scanning the skills section of a job posting. Look for details that match your own skill set as well as what you’re looking for in a job. A leadership position is a leadership position, and entry-level is entry-level, no matter what it’s called.

Sit Like You Mean It

If you’ve been in the working game for a while, don’t let your body language show it. Powers suggests paying attention to the veteran politicians and businessmen on Sunday morning news programs to see how successful men handle themselves. They don’t sit back or lean on the arm rests—instead, they place their hands on the table, position themselves in the middle of the chair, and lean slightly so they can point or use their hands when they speak. Do the same in an interview: All three moves will emphasize that you’re active and energetic, says Powers

Draw on Your Past

The best way to show your experience in an interview is to use real-life examples, says Powers. If your interviewer asks a hypothetical question like “What would you do in this scenario?”, answer it by saying “I was actually in a similar situation in my last position,” or “I was talking to a friend about this.” Then explain how you solved that problem and how you could translate that to a new company. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who’s been there and done that than someone who’s just speculating?