‘Shark Tank’ judge Barbara Corcoran shares 3 tips to rock a job interview, succeed at work and get promoted

Written by on June 11, 2020

Barbara Corcoran knows a thing or two about success. She is a self-made millionaire, judge on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and founder of real estate firm The Corcoran Group, which she sold for $66 million in 2001. 

Her experience in both real estate and television helped Corcoran learn a few universal lessons about how to achieve success in your career. 

Here are three of her top tips for success at work. 

1. Make a good impression during the interview

If you are searching for a new opportunity, there are a few ways to make a good impression during a job interview, Corcoran says.

Start by having a good posture, a firm handshake and making eye contact. When she’s hiring, Corcoran forms “an impression immediately” based on the candidate’s posture, she says.

You should also have already researched the company and the position you applied for, Corcoran says. “You want to have investigated what traits that position typically requires and make sure your comments in the interview are directed to those traits,” she explains. 

Asking questions about hours required to work, promotions and vacation policies is “poisonous,” says Corcoran, because those are questions all about you. “In an interview, remember, you’re romancing the other guy or gal across the desk from you,” she says. “You want to make all of your questions having to do with them.” 


Corcoran recommends asking about the company’s goals and values in the office.

“Anything that emphasizes the traits that every good employer wants implies that you have those traits because you’re asking about them,” says Corcoran.

2. Lean in to your strengths

In order to succeed at work, you should have a job that builds on your strengths, Corcoran says. People do better in positions that tap into things they naturally do well.

To do that, you should be aware of how you work best. There are two kinds of employees, Corcoran says: expanders and containers.

Expanders are good at talking, selling, spending money and have high energy. “They persuade people to their way of thinking,” says Corcoran. “They like to see what’s new around the corner.”

Containers want to take control. They are “good at financing, legal work, filing systems, corralling money, saving money and anticipating what is needed down the road,” explains Corcoran.

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Once you figure out what kind of person you are, find a position that taps into those strengths. “By using them day in and day out, you’ll get better and better and better and push yourself ahead,” says Corcoran.

3. Acquire the skills you need before asking for a promotion

If you want to get promoted, start working toward it early, Corcoran says. The best way to get started is to take classes that will help you gain the expertise needed for the position you want to be promoted to. “This gives you the power to walk up your boss and say, ‘I’m looking for that promotion and here’s what I’ve done to earn it,’” Corcoran says.

And make sure you are proactive and ask for raises, Corcoran says. Don’t assume they will be handed to you.

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