What ‘Shark Tank’ Can Teach You About Interviewing

shark tank interviewing

The TV show “Shark Tank” offers a lot of interview tips if you pay close attention. Here are five that can help you in your job hunt.

If you haven’t watched Shark Tank before, the show is about entrepreneurs pitching their products and services in front of potential investors (the “sharks”). The show has quickly become one of my favorites because I love watching inventors with cool products or services find success. One of the things I’ve noticed is that the entrepreneurs who do well on the show follow the same strategies — strategies that also apply to interviewing for jobs.

Here are five interview tips you can learn on a typical Shark Tank episode:

1. Know your stuff

Don’t even think of arriving unprepared. Interview questions may be challenging, to say the least, and you need to have the answers without hesitation. Do your research and learn the most common interview questions. Practice your responses with friends and family, and have them throw in some tricky interview questions, too. Make sure you know the details of your work history inside out so nothing throws you off.

2. Fill a need

On Shark Tank, the investors look for products and services that fill a void in the market. As a job candidate, you need to show hiring managers that you can fill a void on their team. Re-read the job listing before you arrive and make sure you can make a persuasive case for how your skills and experience are an ideal fit for the company’s needs.

3. Be confident but not arrogant

There’s a fine line between arriving at the meeting with the attitude “I believe in myself and know I can do this job” and “Anyone can tell I’m the best person for the job.” When interviewing, you’ll want to mention your accomplishments while avoiding a bragging tone. “I won the company’s customer service award last year due to all of the compliments I received for my work as office manager” comes across better than “I won the company’s customer service award in a landslide vote! None of my coworkers came close.”

4. Be passionate

People want to work with others who are positive and motivated. When you talk about your work history and what you enjoy most about the administrative profession, be sure to smile and convey enthusiasm.

5. Show commitment

There was once an entrepreneur on the show who was juggling way too many activities, showing little time for the company she wanted to expand. She planned to continue with her main career, even if the sharks invested in her side business. They all quickly bowed out of investing.

When interviewing, heed her example of what not to do. Avoid talking about all of your interests outside of work. It’s fine to mention one if asked, but make sure your career is your primary focus during the discussion. Don’t make hiring managers worry how you’ll find time to work if you’re competing in marathons, writing a book and traveling the world, too.

If you watch Shark Tank, what other interviewing tips have you picked up from the show?

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