The 3 “P’s” to Interview Like a Pro

interview-success-300x198Are you ready to interview? Ready to compete? The time to get in the right mindset… is now.

To make the most out of every job interview opportunity, and jump way ahead of the competition, consider delivering the three “P” statements: Purpose, Preparation and Polish!


Dress the part; set your shoulders back; extend a firm handshake; and state your purpose:

“My name is Thomas Smith, I am here for the 10:00 interview… and to secure the Social Media internship.”

Nine times out of ten, your Purpose statement will not only get you a warmer welcome, you’ll immediately set a positive tone for the entire interview.


Duly impressed, the recruiter will begin their locked-in interview process. “Tell me about you?” followed by “What is your greatest weakness?” or something similar. Eventually, they will get to “Do you have any questions for me?” When they do (or preferably even before they do) deliver your Preparation statement:

“I do have some questions about the company and my role, please…”

For dramatic effect, take out your professional notepad that contains your list of prepared questions… the kind of questions not found in the annual report or on Google – something real. An example: “What do you enjoy most about working here?”

And whatever you do, don’t turn your Preparation statement into a question about you! At this point, “What are my chances of being offered a full-time job with this company” will be perceived as self-indulgent – and cripple the momentum of the interview.


This is my favorite… because it wins more interviews than anything else you can do or say. At the appropriate moment, state:

“I’ve taken the liberty to…”

For instance:

  • “I’ve taken the liberty to… draft a social media strategy we can execute”
  • “I’ve taken the liberty to… construct an analysis of our competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.”

No matter how you finish the Polish statement – you’ll be talking as if you mentally already have the job, show you’re not afraid to start the work without prompting and are the right person for the job.

Bonus Tip!

In each of the statements and examples above you’ll notice that not one of them contain the words “you”, “your” or “they”. Instead, we use inclusive words to state our intentions: “our” (“…our competitors…”), “we” (“…we can execute…”) and even “my” (“…my role…). This little change in your approach implies you already belong there, are already thinking like a member of the team – and make a HUGE difference in the mindset of a recruiter fatigued by “blah, blah, blah” answers.

Use your Purpose, Preparation and Polish statements (the “3Ps”) and move your job or internship search dramatically forward!


For this post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at YouTern!

mark-babbittAbout the author:  A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, YouTern CEO Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and regarding internships, emerging talent and the current job market – and was recently honored to be named to GenJuice’s “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors” list.


2 thoughts on “The 3 “P’s” to Interview Like a Pro

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s