You applied for a job, finally got called back about them being interesting in interviewing you and today now you are interviewing. What are some things that you should focus on to stand out from the competition?
1. First Impressions!
Make sure you show up extra early to the area where the interview is located. This is especially important if you are taking public transportation to your interview. A first impression is a lasting impression.
The worst thing that could happen is that the day you decide to take the train into the city, there are massive train delays, which will not only stress you out but also may make you late. Not being on time for that day for a new company shows a reliability factor and they may think you won't be on time for your regular working hours if you were hired.
Also, make sure that you are properly dressed. It is always better to overdress for an interview than underdress. Even if the dress code for the job is a T-shirt and shorts, don’t wear that to the interview. You do not have the job yet and should dress accordingly.
2. Show Your Personality!
After a certain point everyone has the same amount of technical skills required to get the job, so how will you separate yourself? Show them who YOU really are. This goes into being a good team fit. Show them how you are a pleasure to be around.
Someone could be the smartest person ever but if they aren’t a good team fit they could hinder other people’s performances on the team. Employers make sure to look out for these types of people! A simple way to show you won’t be a workplace distraction is to stress how you work well with others. No matter your role in the new company there is a good chance you will have to interact with others to exchange information and your company wants to make sure this will not be a problem.
3. Body Language!
Your actions speak louder than your words. You may answer a question correctly, but if you say the answer with a confused look, your interviewer may just think it was a lucky guess. Try to keep a good posture throughout your interview.
It’s ok to be nervous during an interview. If you are unsure about a question don’t be afraid to take a second and formulate a full response or ask an interview to repeat the question.
Anytime you do answer a question, try to do it confidently, even if you are unsure if it’s the correct answer. The confidence will show how you will act in the workplace.
Last, but most importantly, smile! This lightens up the entire mood and makes for a more enjoyable experience for you and the interviewer. Interviews can be an awkward experience. Starting it with a smile and introducing yourself is a good way to break the ice and tension.
4. Show That You Are Coachable!
If there is anything that you don’t know how to do during the interview, express interest in wanting to learn it. Show that you are looking to grow and welcome new challenges and opportunities.
This is very important because employers don’t want employees who are going to get defensive when they hear constructive criticism. They want people who can adapt and take constructive criticism as learning opportunities.
Also being coached by more experienced people helps with your learning process. The fastest way to get somewhere is to ask someone who has already been there for directions.
5. Key Speaking Points And Thank You Letters!
Always try to talk about something unique or learn something from your interviewers. Maybe you both related to an experience or both have a common hobby. Try to to have one key takeaway from each interview and get the interviewer's information. This could be done via the recruiter or they may have a business card you could ask for directly.
Then once you finish your interview wait a little while, then email each person who interviewed you. Thank them for taking time out of their day to interview you and bring up the key takeaway you had from the conversation that you had with them. This will make you stick out in their heads for later when their team does a debriefing about how your interview with and it also shows character in that you valued their time.