Things You Can Do at Job Interview to Really Stand Out
In this financial climate there's likely to be stiff competition for every job you go for. Sometimes it's hard just to get through to interview, let alone impress once you're there.
Of course, there are things that everybody should do to create a good first impression. You can also read up on tricky questions you might get during the interview and how to answer.
However, if you're interviewing for a job that you really want then, we'd advise pulling out all the stops and investing a bit more of your time to be the standout candidate - the one they don't even have to think about hiring.
At JC Associates we like to think that we provide our candidates with the best advice when it comes to both job hunting and interviewing. We hope that the tips below provide some inspiration and help you differentiate yourself from your interview competition.
Do your research thoroughly
Go beyond just reading on the company’s website. Check out their social channels and see if you can track down any media coverage to get a better understanding of the company and its culture. See if you can determine what the challenges and opportunities facing the company might be and how the job you're interviewing for fits into their overall strategy.
Doing so will also allow you to come up with better questions at the end of your interview. Make notes and bring these into the interview with you if you want. These also show that you have invested time into the process.
Plan what you want to say, and how you're going to say it
It’s important that you know what you want to say to your interviewer. You're likely going to be asked about your career, your achievements and also your experience. You need to be comfortable discussing this and you also need to be sure that you don't miss anything out, so do take a little time to practise your answers to questions you think you'll be asked.
You want to be seen to be a person with both short and long term goals, and you need to express the hope that you will be able to achieve your goals within the company.
This shows two things: first, that you’re looking and planning ahead (which in itself is an attractive attribute in candidates); second, that you hope to grow and achieve more whilst you are working for the company. In other words, you want to better yourself - and, as your employer, they will benefit from your increased expertise and knowledge.
Try to present yourself as the solution to a problem they have
If you've done your research, you’ll know exactly what you can bring to the company. This is something that should be part of your preparation. You simply do this by analysing the job specification, and make sure that your CV and covering letter gives specific examples of how you have already done and experienced what the job specification says you need to have done.
Then, at the interview, without saying it in so many words, you need to get across the idea that they need you. You don't want to come across as arrogant, but you do want to let them know that you can do what they are looking for and that it's what you love to do.
So, throughout the interview, do listen out for and pick up on any reference the interviewer makes to how you may have worked in similar situations in the past. If you do this right, then they will begin to feel as though you’re connected to the role - that you’re the perfect fit.
Display emotional intelligence
We stated above that it's important to not come across as cocky. Confident, yes, but also someone who views themselves objectively and allows themselves to be self-critical in a positive way. Honesty, transparency and self-awareness are all qualities that employers in today’s market are looking for.
Remember statistics concerning your achievements, and explain how you work
Everybody loves a statistic, especially if it’s a good one. If your work resulted in improvements that were measurable, tell them by how much. And remember to explain HOW you did what you did: let people in to your thought process and your work method. It's these details that also impress.
Ask original and interesting questions
Perhaps the biggest chance for a candidate to show their intellect, and to be able to differentiate themselves from others, is when it comes to the questions at the end of the interview. These will reflect the knowledge you have within that particular sector and your curiosity about the company. If the role is one that you are genuinely interested in then it shouldn't be hard to find something to ask that sparks an interesting conversation with the interviewer(s) and helps you stand out.
Don’t let everything go at the final hurdle
Be sure that you follow up every single interview with a thank you email within 24-48 hours. We can almost guarantee you that your competition won't do this.
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