Ace your next job interview by not selling yourself at all

Sarah Todd

Most people head into job interviews prepared to sell themselves. Entrepreneur Dave Kerpen says that’s their first mistake.

“If you’re going into a job interview thinking I’ve got to prove myself, you’re forgetting that it’s not really about you—it’s about the other person,” Kerpen, founder and CEO of the social media marketing software company Likeable Local and author of the new book The Art of People, tells Quartz.

The Art of People functions as a kind of manual for professional friendliness, offering offbeat yet practical tips on topics like offering constructive criticism (he recommends sneaking negative feedback into a “praise sandwich”) and standing out at a networking event (he favors orange sneakers). Kerpen’s operating theory that it’s easy to form connections with people—so long as we’re considerate about who they are and what they want.

To that end, Kerpen advises job-seekers to flip the script in interviews: Spend less time obsessing about how you come across, and more time directing your energies outward. Here are some concrete tips to try out at your next big audition.

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