The Mechanics of the Job Interview

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter


From before you arrive for your job interview to their first question, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter takes you through what you should be doing to be ready.

Over 50? Think Ahead.

The journey to landing your dream job begins long before you set foot in the interview room. In fact, according to expert career coach Jeff Altman, a significant portion of your success is already accomplished before the interview even starts. Altman explains that approximately 60% of the job-getting process is completed before the actual interview, with the remaining 40% involving convincing the interviewer and evaluating cultural fit.

Arriving Early and Focused

One of the keys to a successful interview is arriving early and giving yourself time to mentally prepare. Altman recommends aiming to get to the building about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This not only ensures you won’t be rushed or late, but it also gives you a chance to focus on your objectives for the interview.

If you’re taking public transportation, Altman suggests doing a dry run beforehand if possible, to ensure you allot enough time to get there. And if the weather is extreme, take a moment to warm up your hands or dry any perspiration before going in to make a good first impression.

Making a Strong First Impression

When you arrive, Altman advises sitting in the reception area facing the greatest number of entry points. This allows you to be aware of when the interviewer comes to greet you, so you can stand up, give a firm handshake, and immediately size them up as a person.

Altman emphasizes the importance of not trying to “feel out” the interviewer during the first 10 minutes. Instead, he encourages you to trust your instincts and respond to the interviewer based on how you perceive them. This helps you avoid paralysing your personality and gives the interviewer something to connect with.

Kicking Off the Interview on a Strong Note

As the interviewer comes to get you, Altman suggests taking the initiative and saying something like, “Thank you for taking the time to see me today. I spoke with [referrer] about this role, and they gave me a brief description, but I’d like to get your take on the job and what I can do to help.”

This approach serves two important purposes. First, it allows you to gather valuable information about the role and the interviewer’s perspective, which you can then use to tailor your responses. Second, it sets the tone for the interview, demonstrating your proactivity and genuine interest in the position.

Focusing on What Matters Most

Altman emphasizes the importance of answering questions in the context of what the interviewer is looking for, rather than just reciting a generic list of your accomplishments. By gathering information about the role upfront, you can laser-focus your responses on the specific skills, experiences, and qualities that are most relevant to the employer’s needs.

This strategic approach helps you avoid wasting time on irrelevant details and ensures that the interviewer sees you as the ideal candidate for the job.

Maintaining Confidence and Composure

Throughout the interview process, it’s crucial to maintain a confident and composed demeanor. Altman notes that the first 10 minutes are the most important, as this is when both you and the interviewer will decide whether to pay attention for the remainder of the conversation.

By trusting your instincts, responding to the interviewer’s personality, and keeping your focus on what the employer is looking for, you can ensure that you make a lasting, positive impression and increase your chances of landing the job.

Leveraging Your Resources

Altman encourages job seekers to take advantage of the resources available to them, such as his website, There, you can sign up for a complimentary subscription to his “No BS Job Search Advice” ezine, which is published weekly and offers a wealth of insights and strategies for navigating the job market.

Additionally, the website features other helpful tools, such as job board links, career search engines, and recommended books and guides on job hunting. By tapping into these resources, you can continue to refine your interview skills and increase your chances of success.


Mastering the in-person interview is a critical step in the job-seeking process, and with the right approach, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job. By preparing thoroughly, making a strong first impression, and strategically aligning your responses with the employer’s needs, you can navigate the interview with confidence and poise.

Remember, the journey to success begins long before the interview itself, so take the time to plan, practice, and leverage the resources available to you. With Altman’s expert guidance, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next in-person interview and taking the next step in your career.

Career Coach Office Hours: April 30 2024


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS job search coaching and career advice globally because he makes job search and succeeding in your career easier. 

How Do You Get Past the Young Recruiter to the Real Decision Maker?

You will find great info and job search coaching to help with your job search at ⁠⁠JobSearch.Community⁠⁠ 

Connect on LinkedIn: ⁠⁠⁠heBigGameHunter⁠ 

Schedule a discovery call to speak with me about one-on-one or group coaching during your job search at ⁠

Stupid Resume Mistakes: “Creative Writing”

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2900 episodes over 13+ years.

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