The interview process, while important, can be extremely nerve wracking for job candidates. Landing the interview is a big first step, but nailing it and impressing the interviewee is what really counts. It’s also safe to assume that you aren’t the only candidate that a company is talking to. This is especially true if you’re interviewing with a larger company or a position with a good salary, benefits, etc. This means you need to find out how to make yourself the best option in the interview process. So when considering how to stand out in an interview, there are some key tips everyone should consider so that they can succeed.
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How to Stand Out in an Interview
1. Do Your Due Diligence
The most common mistake a candidate can make before an interview is not doing their prior-research. Knowing what the position is about, and what the company’s mission is will give you a massive leg up on the competition. Taking time to research everything about the company, industry and position can help you craft your answers and experience to fit the needs and wants of the company and what they are looking for.
Before the interview, scan the company’s website, noting anything that resembles a company or mission statement. Also take a peek at their LinkedIn profile and social postings. Knowing where the company is headed in the current moment can help you understand what they’re looking for.
2. Be Professional and On Time
Nothing will kill your chance at a job faster than showing a lack of care and professionalism. Being prompt, on-time and well dressed makes all the difference in how an employer will see you. To make sure you’re on time, plan to be at the interview earlier than the set time. This will give you additional time in case something comes up or traffic is tighter than you anticipated. It also gives you extra time to read over your notes on the company, refreshen your talking points and give you time to practice.
3. Use Examples and Hard Numbers
Almost every candidate has the ability to speak on their experiences, and present good answers to common interview questions. But thinking about how to stand out in an interview means you need to think about giving more. To do this, come prepared with examples and numbers for achievements you accomplished at your current and prior positions.
Instead of stating that you “helped grow the sales volume at the company”, use numbers and examples that instead sound like “in my first six months at the company, the portfolio I managed grew over 40%, which was higher than any other salesperson at the company in the last 3 years”. Avoid bragging, but make yourself sound confident and proud of your accomplishments.
4. Show Your Personality
Even though you are trying to sell your experience and ability, you’re also selling yourself. The most important thing to consider when thinking about how to stand out in an interview, is you. Not only are companies looking for a strong worker, they’re looking for someone who will mesh well in the company. So don’t be afraid to show your personality.
Make jokes and small talk (work appropriate) where it is fitting. Be kind and courteous, asking how the interviewer’s day is going and giving positive communication. Your experience and ability already has gotten you through the door and in to the interview, but often times your personality is what can seal the deal.
A big mistake many interviewees make is asking no questions at the end of an interview. While it may seem backwards, asking questions to an interviewer shows interest in the position and the company. Someone who has solid questions prepared means they did their prior research and took the time to consider the job, company and duties thoroughly. Before you go to your interview, and during your research, jot down some questions about the company and position. Take this time to learn more about things that are important to you. This will help establish professionalism and show your true interest in the role and company.
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