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A Superhero's Secret to Stand Out in Job Interviews

Posted on October 5, 2022 at 8:55 AM

I have been on both sides of the job interview process countless times, so I have heard (and given) lots of advice about how to stand out in job interviewing. I recently heard a great piece of advice from an unexpected place - an actor who played a superhero.


Micheal Keaton played the title character in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Keaton had toiled for years as an aspiring actor through his 20’s auditioning for small parts before his career took off in the early 1980s with a string of bigger roles. Keaton shared this insight in a recent interview about how he broke through:


”What I finally figured out about auditioning, and this was big, was I thought I’m going about this wrong. I’m going about it like ’that’s the job… I have to go get the job.’ And so I thought, ’no, no, no, I’m going to work. I already got the job.’ The fact that I got a call to show up in the valley or way down here, and I’m gonna get three minutes in a room or 20 minutes in a room, whatever they’re gonna gimme in a room… That’s the gig. (I) got the job. I’m going to work today. So I just went, ’I’m going to work today.’ And I showed up ready to go to work. And then I started to like auditioning.”


Keaton’s insight about his mindset as a role seeker applies to careers outside of acting as well. His approach can help you unlock two behaviors that will increase your chances of success in job interviewing: confidence and positive energy.


As a job interviewee, you should get confidence by realizing that the hiring organization is already paying you in a way. They have already invested the time of their employees to review your resume and interview you. Perhaps they have even paid your travel expenses. So walk into the interview with the attitude that you already landed a job as a candidate and are working your way toward a promotion. That will help you view your interviewer as a colleague to respect instead of as a judge to fear.


Keaton’s mindset can also help you project positive energy that creates that important intangible connection with the interviewer. By taking this approach, Keaton said he ”started to like auditioning.” Doesn’t everyone like to work with people who enjoy their work? The candidates who look like they are actually enjoying the interview process are often the ones who stand out. Maya Angelou’s great quote about people is true for job interviewers too: ”People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you go into an interview with the mindset that you already have the job and are enjoying it, the interviewers may feel that and remember you as a colleague and not just another candidate.


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Categories: Job Interviews, Career Planning