An interview is a chance for an employer to get to know who you are as an individual, your qualifications, skills and experiences, and to find out if you’re the right person for the job. It is often an intimidating, anxiety-inducing event, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and strategy, you can shine during an interview and truly make yourself stand out.
Making a good impression during an interview is essential if you want to land the job. After all, an employer wants to know that they can trust you to do the job they’re offering. The way you present yourself, respond to questions, and the information you give can make or break your chances at success. It is not enough to just be qualified for the job, you will also need to demonstrate that you are the best fit for the role.
A. Do Your Research
i. About the Company: Before your interview, make sure you do your research and not just on the surface level either. Brush up on the company history, their products or services, their mission statement, current news items and any recent challenges they’ve had to face. Not only will this help you show the interviewer that you’ve taken the time to get to know the company, it’ll help you to answer any challenging questions about the company with clarity and ease.
ii. About the Position: Once you’ve brushed up on the company, it’s time to dive into the specifics of the position. Read and re-read the job description and make sure you understand each aspect of the role and what it will entail. Make sure you can answer specific questions around the day to day tasks and how you would approach each one.
iii. Your Interviewer: If you’re able to, try and do some research on the person or people who will be interviewing you. From here you’ll get a feel for their background and expertise, as well as any common points you share. A good tip is to check their LinkedIn profile, as well as any profiles on other social media you might use.
B. Prepare Your Answers: In order to ensure you stand out in the interview process, it’s important to prepare your answers beforehand. Come up with answers to potential questions the interviewer might ask, and make sure they are pertinent and to the point. You could practice these answers with a friend or family member, or record yourself and pay attention to your verbal and non-verbal communication.
C. Stay Positive: Remember to stay positive throughout the interview and really show the interviewer your enthusiasm and readiness to take on the role. Demonstrate that you’re excited to join the team and work closely with everyone in the organization. Lastly, make sure you thank your interviewer for their time at the end of the interview.
A. Don’t Overshare:
Nobody wants to hear your life story in the middle of an interview. Even if you’re the excited type, who just loves to talk, try to reign it in a bit. Nobody needs to know why you switched majors or the hilarious conversation you had last night with your friends. When answering questions, be as specific as possible and make sure you’re sticking to the topic at hand.
B. Don’t Make It All About You:
An interview should be a back-and-forth exchange. During it, you want to make sure you’re communicating why you would be an asset to their team. At the same time, don’t forget to ask questions about the organization and their values. Interviews are the perfect opportunity to learn more about the company you’d be working for, so make sure you’re listening and paying attention during this time.
C. Don’t Fail to Ask Questions:
Asking questions shows that you’re interested and engaged in the conversation. It also proves that you’ve done your research on the company and have a thorough understanding of the role you’re interviewing for. Make sure you’re prepared with a few questions ready to go to avoid any awkward pauses or moments of silence. If you don’t have any questions, that may be a red flag for the interviewer that you’re not interested or haven’t taken the time to get to know the company.
In conclusion, we’ve covered so much about how to make sure you stand out in interviews. Being prepared is obviously the best approach, but things can always come up and throw a wrench in even the best-laid plans. To that end, when you don’t feel as prepared as you’d like, it’s best to remain confident and assured that you’re qualified for the job. And finally, it’s also important to leave lasting impressions through subtle ways like making sure you’re well-groomed and articulate, sending a thank you right after the meeting, or bringing a notebook or portfolio that shows your skills. Doing so will go a long way in assuring you have the best chance of success!