Corcodilos’ Guide on How to Take Over the Job Interview

  • Based on Ask the Headhunter by Nick Corcodilos (1997) and my experience with companies, recruiters, and workers.
  • Written by Andreas Ramos
  • Updated April 2023
  • Keywords: corcodillo corcodilo crocodile recruiter resume

In General

  • Eye contact.
  • Show confidence.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Share your research and questions.

Prepare before the Interview

  • Spend five to ten days to research.
  • Research the market. What is the ten-year trend? New markets, products, or services? The major companies? The key people in the industry?
  • Research the company. Founder, history, trend the last five years in products, services, revenues, size of market, their plans for the future.
  • Do the same for three to five competitors.
  • Research the manager: LinkedIn profile, social media, webpage, company page, education, work history, awards, personal interests.
  • Know the job’s required skills and methods.
  • To research: Use, find a company, select Company Insights, select Research Reports.
  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, analyst reports, industry associations, and research librarians at a university business school library. Journals for an industry have annual market summary. Use ChatGPT to find questions. See The Business Journal for your city.
  • Make it clear to the manager that you researched the market, competitors, the company, products, and the manager. Bring your research to the meeting and share your research with them.

Take Over the Interview

  • Managers will ask a list of interview questions. Ignore those questions. Turn the interview into a problem-solving exercise.
  • Ask, “What’s the goal of this job? What counts as success.”
  • Identify the issues. Ask, what’s the problem they want to solve? Write down a list of the problems. Show how you will solve it. What will you need to solve it? Show you can do the job profitably. Talk about costs and schedules. Use estimates. The details don’t matter. Show you have thought about costs and schedules. You can adjust during the discussion. Show how you can save money. Give examples.
  • Show you will do the job the way they want. You may have a better idea but save that for later.
  • Talk about additional ideas that make money.
  • Add your relevant skills, experience, languages.
  • Take notes.
  • The manager will treat you like a member of the team. You become an insider. Managers prefer to hire insiders.
  • Share your research with the manager.

Negotiate Your Salary

At the End, Ask for a Grade

  • Will this approach work?
  • What should I change?
  • What do you think of my plans for profits?
  • What do you think of my plans for cost savings?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?

Ask for the Job

  • Most people don’t ask for the job at the end of the interview. That shows a lack of interest.
  • Say, “This is a great opportunity for me. I’d really like to work here. Hire me.”