If you want to land a new job, then standing out in a positive way during the interview process is a must. But many job seekers aren’t sure exactly what they need to do to make an ideal impression on the hiring manager. With that in mind, here are five of the best ways to stand out in an interview that you can begin using today.
1. Start in the Parking Lot
While you may not meet the hiring manager until you get well into the building, it’s best to begin your “interview” in the parking lot. Along the way to your check-in point, you could encounter a range of other employees, ranging from entry-level workers to CEOs. However, you usually can’t tell a glance exactly who anyone is, so you want to make a great impression at during every encounter.
Greet people with a smile and ask them how their day is going. Hold doors open for people as you move between spaces. If you find an opportunity to lend a hand, such as by helping someone pick up dropped papers or pressing the elevator floor button for someone whose hands are full, can go a long way, especially if the hiring manager happens to ask other people for their impressions of you.
2. Let Your Enthusiasm Shine
Most candidates are nervous during their interview, but learning to hold those feelings back so your excitement about the opportunity can show through is essential if you want to stand out.
Passionate candidates are typically held in higher regard since enthusiasm isn’t something that can be taught. Plus, workers who are invigorated by the role or their field usually perform better on the job, increasing the odds that the hiring manager will be interested in offering you the job.
3. Be Ready for the Inevitable
There are certain questions or prompts that are practically guaranteed to be broached during an interview. One is the quintessential, “Tell me about yourself,” prompt.
Since this question usually comes up first, having a great response is an ideal way to start the interview off on the right foot. Make sure you can focus on your most relevant experiences and skills quickly and concisely to catch the hiring manager’s attention. Then close with a simple sentence that mentions your current career goal and how a role such as this one fits into your plan.
4. Always Use Examples
When it comes to an interview, stories are always more compelling than basic facts. When the hiring manager asks you a question, always try to provide a relevant example as part of your answer, quantifying the details whenever possible.
One easy way to prepare your stories in advance is to review the vacancy announcement to see which skills and experiences are critical in the eyes of the company. Then, look back on your work history and see which anecdote best applies.
5. Have Questions Ready
As the interview comes to a close, you’ll usually have an opportunity to ask the hiring manager a few questions. Having nothing to ask can significantly harm your chances of being selected, so make sure you have a few ready in advance.
One easy question to have in your back pocket is, “Can you describe a typical day in this position?” If you want to learn a bit about how you performed during the interview, you can try, “Is there anything at this point that would keep me from being a top candidate for this job?”
You can also discuss the hiring manager’s thoughts on certain topics. For example, “What’s your favorite thing about working here?” can be incredibly revealing.
Ultimately, by following the five tips above, you can stand out during your next interview for all of the right reasons. If you are interested in learning more, the team at Career Options can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals today and see how our expertise can benefit you.