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Adam Mikulasev
Adam Mikulasev

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Reach a great outcome in your next interview with these 3 negotiation strategies, even if you fail the technical questions.

Coding interviews... scary, right?

I remember how anxious I was 15 minutes before my first tech interview.

I'll never forget the high-rise building that towered over me.

I felt small.

It was a gloomy day outside too. The sky blanked in clouds. Humid and wet.

Sweat dripping down the back of my neck. Palms sweaty. Shivering. Was I hot or cold?

Dressed in clothes I've never worn before. Stiff as my neck.


Mind racing...

Is my shirt tucked in?

Did I sit on gum on the ride in?

What if they ask me technical questions that I don't know the answer to?

What if I stutter and make a lot of mistakes?

What if they catch me out as being a fake and a fraud?

What if I'm not ready for this interview?

What if I am not good enough?


There I was, psyching myself out just moments before the interview.

Questioning my abilities. Filled with self-doubt. Thinking I'm inadequate. Paralysed with fear. Worried about failure.

Talk about sabotaging my chances.

But you know what...

I got that job! And everything worked out.

You can bet I didn't pass the technical questions either!


Funny how I was so worried about the "right answers" even though they didn't matter at all.

The whole thing was built up in my head.

So, knowing what I know now - how could I have done better?


Here's 3 tips to help shift your perspective, take directed action and get the best result in an interview, even if you fail the technical questions.


Seek to understand the other side and what is driving them, instead of focusing on yourself and your own technical (in)abilities.

Empathising with their pain shifts the attention away from yours. It also helps to build rapport which the essential ingredient to a good hire, not a "right answer".

Look for opportunities to solve problems in a collaborative way

Show them that collaborating with you is fun.
Think win/win. No one needs to loose.
Remember, the adversary is the situation, not yourself OR the person on the other side.

Paint a picture of what it could be like to work together

Be proactive.
Follow up after the interview.
Send an email if you don't want to call.
Thank the other side for their time.
Reflect on the positive emotions felt during the interview.
Summarise their pain, goals and dreams to show you understand.
Suggest how you might be able to help them in the future.
Keep the enthusiasm bottled so you don't come off desperate.


These techniques have changed my life in a profound way over the past few years and I think they can help others too!

If you'd like to know more about how to win at interviews and life (even when you don't feel confident), I highly recommend checking out Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation MasterClass, 7 Habits of Effective People and The Obstacle is the Way.

Remember, the interviewer wants the next person who walks through the door to alleviate their pains and move them towards their goals.

And they want that person to be you!

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