Close your eyes right now and visualize your last interview. Remember how you felt and tap into those sweaty palms and nervous, thumping heartbeat. What was your strategy? How did you prepare? Did you open up or shut down when asked a difficult question?
The one-step method to ace your interview is simply this: cast a vision.
Casting a vision is a phrase that typically floats around the leadership community. Great managers and team leaders are all familiar with the idea of casting a vision: explaining where you are, where you are headed, and how you will get there. You have to rally the troops, articulate the path from point A to point B, and be passionate and clear. You can apply the same technique to interviews.
If you’re a student or between jobs, you’ve probably been given a lot of advice on the best interview practices. You’ve been told to be honest, be yourself and research the position beforehand. You’ve been instructed to ask questions and describe projects in which you’ve been successful. All of this advice is inherently good, but it is also incomplete. Casting a vision encompasses all of these tips and more.
Explain who and where you are
To give potential employers a clear picture, you must be honest and able to discuss past experiences and opportunities where you have been successful. This will better pique the interest of the interviewer and give them an idea of your abilities.
Articulate why you want the job
Do some background research of the position itself beforehand and why the role interests you. By doing this, and by asking questions and relating your own past experience, you will be able to explain why the job is a good fit for you and the existing team.
Draw connections between yourself, the position and the future
If you’ve done your job up to this point, you’ve successfully described yourself and displayed passion for and knowledge of the position. Now it’s time to seal the deal. Where will you take the team in the short and long term? Why are you the perfect fit? How will you reach new heights with this role?
If you can connect the dots, you can cast the vision. Any good interview is full of passion and authenticity, but a great interview casts a vision for the future, a vision that only the candidate can fill. Be that person in your next interview and you will wow them every time.
A version of this article was originally published on Career Contessa, an online platform facilitating honest conversations by real women about work and life—to help you achieve fulfillment and balance in both.