The Peak Interview

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The Peak Interview

THE PEAK INTERVIEW: New Insights into Winning the Interview and Getting the Job. PeakInterviewFrontCovers.jpg

By Bill Burnett

New insights into the job interview process can give you an edge to win the interview and get the job. By the time you get to the job interview, the company has determined you are qualified for the job. But so are all the other interviewees. Your experience, skills, competencies, and abilities will not differentiate you. Your competition is just as qualified as you are. You need an edge. Great jazz[1] soloists know that when they are playing a solo, they have to hit one or two peaks in the body of the solo and end with a flourish. That's because people evaluate an experience based on its peaks (good or bad) and how the experience ended. The rest of the experience is remembered, but the evaluation of the experience is based on its peaks, and how it ends. This is called the 'Peak/End rule'. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman is credited with describing this rule. This insight had a big impact on the scientific side of the study of Economics. So much so that Daniel Kahneman[2] won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, despite being a psychologist who never took any economics courses. When people assess a past experience, they attend to two things above all: how it felt at the peak and whether it improved or worsened at the end. It is important to recognize that everything else isn't forgotten, it just isn't used in how we judge the quality of the experience. What that means is that we make decisions, not on a rational basis that fairly evaluates the whole experience, but rather on the peaks and especially on the ending. On this basis we can actually make choices that on a purely rational basis don't make sense. The Peak Interview shows you how to leverage this insight as you prepare for, and produce an outstanding interview. The Peak Interview talks about how to craft questions that will lead to these peaks and refers to a book by Barbara Walters[3] called How to Talk with Practically Anybody About Practically Anything. The Peak Interview shows how using this insight can boost your chances of winning the job.

Here’s what readers have said about the book The Peak Interview (some of these you can see on Amazon):

“Bill Burnett moves away from commodified notions of "selling oneself" in the interview process and replaces them with an empowering subjective exchange; creating "peak experiences" for one's interviewer.”

“Bill provides the following provocative thought: ‘the hiring decision is not based on what the interviewer gets you to say, but what you get the interviewer to say’. If you are one of the many searching for a new job, this book is an essential read to land the position in a virtual ocean of competition.”

“I do believe that the tips & techniques I applied during my last interview are what resulted in a job offer”

“I had two interviews yesterday. HOME RUN! I followed the learning from this book and I kept hearing "that's a great question." The interviewers talked for 75% of the interview. It was great. I have encouraged ALL my friends presently in transition to take the time to read The Peak Interview.”

“Mr. Burnett's book is written in a easy to understand format that is applicable for any job level. At the level I was interviewing, these are skills candidates most likely have. I did not, but do now! The information would also be very helpful for students going for college interviews or first job interviews - the message in the book is that easy to understand. Mr. Burnett lays the foundation and provides real world examples in order for the reader to personalize the information for use.”


“It's interesting that many job coaches emphasize the importance of selling yourself during the transition process but the author, Mr. Burnett, takes another perspective. Yes, to a certain point you are selling yourself but what about once you get to the interview phase. Mr. Burnett makes the case that all candidates are equally qualified so you must be memorable and somehow differentiate yourself. You need a competitive advantage. Peak Interview certainly illustrates ways you can differentiate yourself.”

“After reading this book, for the first time in my life I understand what happened during all those interviews I had during my career that left me scratching my head. Burnett outlines a step-by-step interviewing approach that will greatly increase the odds of getting the job.”

“I applied the book's techniques and as a result, the interview was the best interview of my life. They called with the job offer last night!"

“Bill emphasizes three critical factors that I, as an executive coach, encourage with all my clients: Be Yourself, Tell Stories & Practice. "The Peak Interview" is a book you'll be able to pick up time and time again and pass on to others for nuggets of wisdom and renewed insight into a process that can be both daunting and uncomfortable. Ultimately, Bill reminds us that relationships are the key to success.”

"Thanks for your insightful thought provoking concepts.  I got the job today, and had incredible confidence knowing I had the rest of the crowd, beat.  I beat them in knowing the right questions to ask."

Read more about the book at or get the eBook now at