Giving a good interview, rests on your ability to convince the employer that you are more suitable for a role than all the other candidates they are considering. Sounds pretty easy right? Of course it’s not…in fact, it can be devilishly tricky.
As always, we are here to lend a guiding hand through the process of finding a job and now we offer some special advice that could just make the difference between getting a job and not!
You may think that you are fabulously memorable (indeed you might be), but ensuring that you are the candidate who sticks in the mind of the employer after a job interview (for the right reasons of course) can take a little bit of extra effort on your part.
No matter how perfect for the job you think you are, the fact remains that everyone else being interviewed for the role has shown promise to the employer, and is determined to snatch the job from you.
There is nothing you can do to ensure that you are given the job, but there are a few things that will at least ensure you are memorable.
Bring a portfolio – If you are applying for the type of role that allows you to bring a sample of your work, or a record of it to a job interview then you should. The chances are, if it is not specifically requested by the employer, your peers will assume that they are not expected to and will most likely come empty handed.
This gives you an excellent opportunity to show your initiative as well as a great prop to aid the discussion of your previous experiences and achievements.
As well as becoming an aide to what you would like to say in the interview, this cunning tip also gives you the opportunity to surreptitiously demonstrate a number of other skills and attributes including organisation, presentation and IT competency.
Do extra research – Before a job interview almost everyone does some form of research on the company they are hoping to work for. But for most, this process consists of simply checking the company’s “about us” web page, memorizing a few facts and hoping that this is enough to see them through.
If you really want to distinguish yourself as a candidate who is a cut above the rest, then you need to surprise the interviewer by showing a knowledge of the company that goes beyond that which they normally encounter.
This will suggest that you have a genuine and demonstrable interest in working for the company.
It will of course be much more difficult to complete this exercise than if you were resigned to complete the bare minimum. But if you are thorough you will find that you can then have a much more in depth conversation with the interviewer, put across relevant and well informed opinion and ask questions which show true engagement with the business, their history and the challenges that they face.
It can also be an excellent idea to familiarize yourself a bit with the person who will be interviewing you and their position within the company.
A squeaky clean online presence – If you think that employers today can resist the temptation to check out your online presence then, in the majority of cases, you’d be very wrong.
From experience, we can tell you that, once you have been shortlisted for a role it is common practice for recruiters to take a quick gander at your online presence. Unfair? Perhaps, but many employers see the internet, and especially social media, as a way of gaining an estimation of your character. What they discover may not prevent them from giving you an interview, but it might sour them (however unjustly) against you.
This is a liability that you can ill afford, and one that can be very easily remedied by making sure that all information available online, portrays you in as positive a light and that nothing appears on social media that might reflect negatively on your character.
The vast majority of people neglect to consider their online presence when applying for a new job, assuming that no employer would take the trouble to research them to this extent. So, by making sure that only positive things appear about you when your name is typed into a search bar, you can set yourself apart from them.
Ask very engaging questions – When interviewing for a role, an employer can spend a full day, or even longer, asking the same questions and receiving very similar answers. One of the only opportunities that they have for a bit of variance, is when asking ‘Have you got any questions for us?
Most people fail to take this opportunity to ask questions either because a) they were too concerned with their interview to have time to think of any questions themselves or b) they are so thrilled to have survived the experience up until this point that they do not wish to prolong the agony any more.
As a standout candidate this is your opportunity to take the interviewer by surprise, with questions that show your level of engagement with the business and your understanding of the industry.
This is not usually something that can be left until the last minute, instead you should do thorough and in depth research into the topics which you think are likely to be most relevant, and form your questions around these.
Best of luck with the interview! Hopefully you have found these tips on ways to stand out in an interview useful.