Congratulations, you have gotten through to the interview stage! You are now one step closer to landing that job you wanted. You have sufficed in terms of qualifications; you have a sea of experience and have gotten excellent references from previous employers. “What could possibly go wrong?” you think. And you shouldn’t be wrong. In a perfect world, your qualifications, expertise, and knowledge should speak for themselves and help you land the job, but things do not necessarily function that way in reality.
But the truth is, there are several other candidates with qualifications just as good as yours. Some with qualifications and references that are better than yours. You may not know this, but individuality and peculiarity win most times. You can only gain an edge over your just-as-qualified competitors by standing out.
If you think about it, if you were a business owner, would you rather employ the candidate who impressed you with their ingenuity and special effects than employ the one with all the academic criteria and references but had nothing special to say? There, you have your answer.
Here are four ways for you to stand out in a job interview:
1. Ask meaningful questions:
While this may sound like a no-brainer to some, you’d be shocked at how many applicants do not do this, thereby making you a memorable candidate during the interview. It starts off with doing adequate research in relation to the company’s vision, value, work ethics and operations to prove that you care about the company and are thinking about the details of how you’d fit into the workplace. It also shows that you have done your homework. Besides, the interview is just as much of an opportunity for you to get to know the company as it is for the hiring manager to get to know you.
Here are some meaningful questions that you can ask during your interview:
- How do you assess the success of this position?
- Can you tell me about your company values and how they are put them into practice?
- What professional growth opportunities are available for this position?
- Where do you see this company in the next 3 to 5 years?
- What are some of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on in this company?
- Can I provide you with any further details that would help make your decision?
- What are the next steps after this?
2. Display how you can add value to the company
A big thing an interviewer wants to know during the interview stage is how can you add value to the company and whether or not if you are a good fit for the company. This means you must assure not to hold back when showing off your talents, skills and personality. You want to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. Of course, this must be done in moderation. The last thing you want to be seen as is someone with no sense of control who talks too much.
Rather talk confidently about skills, your work experience and what you can do for your future employers. You can even create graphs or charts with data related to your past experiences that are related to the job or making a presentation. If you work in a more analytical or number driven field take it a step further and create interesting infographics.
Furthermore, if you have any unique skills that are outside the main requirements but could still be useful for the job position, highlight them.
3. Dress to impress
As a candidate that has been invited to an interview, you only get a chance to make your first impression. As a result, wearing that perfect outfit is a major step to not only having a successful interview but to stand out from other candidates. If you look the part, the interviewee will already be impressed and will be more likely to see you as the right candidate for the job. To put it exactly, the way you dress for a job interview says how neat, detailed and professional you are.
Some tips on how to dress to impress your interviewer are:
- Accessorize properly, Wear a nice silver or gold watch. Make sure it’s tasteful and not too in your face.
- Makeup: ensure to wear nice but subtle eye makeup if you have to.
- Be aware of the style and trend that are in fashion for your industry and apply correctly.
- Wear bold colours. Colours such as pink, purple, olive green, and white are superb colours for an interview. But if you are looking to play it safe and wear more cooler colours such as navy, black or brown, consider pairing it with a bold colour for example pairing a black suit with a pink bag and shoes.
- Use the right amount of perfume. Try to avoid using a perfume that is over powering but make sure to wear an appealing perfume.
Keep in mind the way you dress for an interview should be in line with the workplace dress code. If you unsure of what the dress code is, choose smart casual. If it is a video interview, pay attention to your background, as it is just as important as your attire. Check that everything in the view is clean and fits within the workspace, never use a fake background.
4. Reach out to the interviewer after the interview
Follow up after the interview, especially if it’s done thoughtfully, will help you to be the candidate that leaves a lasting impression.
It may be an old fashion courtesy but it is likely to help you gain approval or better yet give you another chance to get your name in front of your potential employer and strut your stuff. As you reach out, toy may also reference parts of the interview to show that you were fully engaged throughout the process.