The interview is a process that scares most young candidates. The feeling that every move we make and every answer we give can determine our hiring definitely makes us nervous.
But one of the most demanding challenges you face is not only to give a good interview, but to stand out from the rest of the candidates. It's true that employers today expect more and more from you. Moreover, if you also consider that there are too many candidates, the bar is raised even higher. So if you really want to get the job you want, you need to know how to promote yourself as a successfulsmatically.
I'm here to share 6+1 secrets that will set you apart from the crowd, so you can make a good impression at your next interview.
The Interview starts before you enter the room
Many times the job interview starts before you realize it. I am referring to the situation when you are in the waiting area to enter the office where the interview is taking place. From the moment you appear in the waiting room, remember that most of the time, your behavior is noticed. In particular, the secretary will observe the way you behave towards her and towards the other persons in the room. She will psychologise what state you are in, from your posture and from your reactions while waiting. The reason she does this is so that she can later report back to your future employer.
I'm sure you wouldn't want to leave a negative impression. Make sure that even "behind the cameras" you remain polite and maintain your professional image. An important advantage to stand out is to use your communication skills by getting to know the secretary better. You can show interest in the work environment or provide solutions to an issue you see him/her facing.
2. First impressions always count.
The truth is that by nature you never get a second chance at a first impression.
A smile, a confident and firm handshake, a dose of enthusiasm and a strong answer to the first question are often enough to determine how the job interview will turn out and what the outcome will be. Usually, the first question is of the form: "How are you?"
You may think it's a trivial and boring question, just as you may think he's asking you out of politeness or to break the ice, not because he's interested in finding out what you're really like. Even if that's the case, what's stopping you from turning a routine answer into something much more interesting. Try not to settle for the usual "fine" or "very well, thank you very much" etc. You're not on the street meeting an acquaintance and want to exchange the formalities and then walk away as quickly as possible. Alternatively, you could reply "Excited to have the opportunity to meet your company in person" or if you want to be confident "Very well, ready to contribute to your project to..."
3. Do your research.
Employers not only want to hire the most competent and talented candidates, they also want them to feel that their company is unique because they chose it. Most candidates will log on to the website and learn where the company operates. Specifically, they will be content to learn what its vision is and what its core products/services are. But you who want to stand out will dig a little deeper, learn about its partners and customers, see its history and how it has evolved over time, study its growth prospects, get to know its employees through Linkedin and most importantly find out what your position in this company can be. Proper preparation requires knowing your usefulness to the company and why it is worth investing in you.
In short, what pain can you eliminate that makes you special.
Another tip that may be useful is to do some research on the person you are interviewing, if you can find out their name or position. By searching for the person through Google or Linkedin you have the opportunity to learn about their interests, previous experiences or where they studied. You may discover that you graduated from the same institution or that you share common concerns or a love of a sport. These are small details with a big impact in a job interview.
Ask your own questions
If you think a job interview is a one-way communication (i.e., the recruiter asks the questions and you just answer), then you're definitely doing something wrong. Successful interviews are those where you manage to establish a two-way communication. Through the conversation you will be able to develop a first form of relationship with the recruiter. In fact, before the process is over the recruiter asks you if you have any questions you would like to raise. It's a good idea before you go to an interview to think about some questions you'd really like to have answered. Not questions like "How much money will I get" but questions that relate to the strategy, the company's ambitions or the job.
Examples of questions to get an idea are:
- Which KPIs do you use in the workplace?
- What do you think if you used the X strategy for this product of yours?
- What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career through this position?
5. Tell a story
In an interview the interviewer wants to check your qualifications and your suitability for the job. He will most likely ask you questions on the job description or based on your CV asking you to give examples. At this point, a particularly smart tip is to answer through a story. You can describe your characteristics and skills that the company is looking for through storytelling. Storytelling may be the best way to present information that can easily be remembered while showing credibility. This way your answer will be more easily impressed in the mind of the person in charge. Therefore, when it comes to the evaluation period, when more than 30-50 candidates will be considered, your story will be one of the first things the recruiter will remember giving you another advantage.
Of course, it is difficult at that moment to remember a story that matches the question you have been asked and at the same time highlights your qualifications for the position. Proper preparation again provides the solution to the above problem. You need to study the job description as well as the experiences you have listed in your resume and think of both examples through stories that demonstrate your skills, and emphasize the way you tell them so that they don't become tedious or irrelevant.
Diversify your answers
Just imagine if you were on the recruiter's side and you had to interview 50 people. So now imagine if you asked the question "what are your strengths" and got 50 identical answers like: "I'm organized, responsible and a good communicator." You understand now, that it doesn't just matter what your strengths are. It actually matters more to know what characteristics you have that others don't have. That way you can leverage them as a competitive advantage. In the same case if a candidate answered: "I have strategic thinking, empathy and adapt easily to new situations" you would automatically stand out from the crowd. Therefore, it is good to remember that each of your answers can at the same time not only increase your own chances but also reduce the chances of the others because of your differentiated positioning.
Asked by interviewers for my greatest strength. Replied I'm lazy. When asked to explain. I said if there is an easier more efficient way to do my job. I'll find it.
bonus 6+1: Send a thank you email
Professionalism is an area where young people today are largely lacking because they limit themselves to developing hard skills and neglect personal development. To really claim the job you want you need to be trained on how to enhance your professional image as you were trained at university to acquire skills for your profession. A proven practice to stand out from other candidates is to send a thank you email. Basic rules are:
- Send it within the next 24 hours.
- Put "Thank you Email for (job title)" or "Thank you for your interest in the position (job title)" in the title.
- Mention the name of the recruiter in the pronunciation.
- State in one sentence why you want to work in the above company
- State your competitive advantage according to the position description immediately below.
- Provide links from your Linkedin or a portfolio for more information
- Close by indicating that you are awaiting their reply.
So these were some small but valuable tips that can make you stand out in your next interview. But if you think you're not getting the chance to use these tips because you're not being invited to an interview, try reading 6 secrets to make your CV stand out.
Write your questions by leaving your comment below so I can help you with your concerns.
Other articles in the theme "Interview" :
– 40 interview questions you can ask your potential employer!
– Remote interviews - Complete preparation guide
– 7 types of job interviews and 3 that will shock you!
Free Online Seminar:
– How to make a good impression in your recruitment interview (webinar)
Interview Preparation Service