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Words of Whizdom

"Stand Out of the Crowd" in Interviews

Posted on 10th October 2019 by Jonathan

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From start to finish, job interviews are performances. They can be memorable for all the right reasons (perfect dialogue, amazing timing, a charismatic lead) or all the wrong ones (unconvincing speeches, awkward pauses, a lack of passion). You want to treat the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation. You want to relate to the other person, develop a connection and have a back-and-forth dialogue. Too many job seekers make the interview process more complicated than need be, thinking they need to do something special to stand out.


Here are some easy-to-follow tips to stand out in your next job interview:


Your level of preparation for a job interview determines whether you would land that dream job or not. You can rightfully look at job interviews as the gateway to our dream life, and thus, just like first impressions, you have one shot at getting it right and making an impact. With the right preparations, you can be the best candidate that’s interviewed. 


It can be alarming the size of the crowd fighting for the same position as you in your dream organisation. As is the case most times, very few are selected from the crowd to fill the vacant position. This is all the more reason you must stand out of the crowd. You have to leave your interviewers with a lasting impression that will make them call you back, and these are the right tips to do that:


Ask the right questions!


The interview isn’t only made for the employers to know you. It is also an opportunity for you to get to know the company. Don’t wait until the end to ask questions. Asking intelligent questions centred about the company shows how interested you are in the opportunity.


Some of the best questions to ask are follow-ups to something you’ve been asked in the interview. Asking the right question gives you a better feel of the company culture. Ask your interviewer what they like most about working for the company. Have them describe a time when people came together to solve a problem. If there are aspects of a working environment that are important to you, this is your time to ask about them. Avoid questions about perks and time off.


Show how you will add value.


The purpose of recruiting is to hire the right employee. Thus, it is very important for you to show that you will add value to the organisation. The interview format may be rather cut and dry, but your answers shouldn’t be so. Elaborate on the questions that you’re asked. There’s the usual set of hypothetical questions where you’re asked ‘what would you do if…’ Go into as much detail as possible with your answers and take it one step further than the basics.


Do some research beforehand and answer the hypothetical question with a situation relevant to the company and/or industry. Keep your humility in your bag during the interview. Take pride in what you have accomplished and what you can do for your future employer. Brag a little! Remember that they asked you to come in for an interview, so they already like you! If you start to feel nervous, keep that thought in your mind.


Don’t tell them what you think they want to hear.


Interviewers are experts. They have gone through the drill many times, so they know when people are simply telling them what they think they should say. Be yourself in the interview. After all, that’s what made them interested in the first place. You don’t want to seem like you’re just rattling off well-rehearsed answers. Over-rehearsed answers present you as a stereotype. You should show that you are unique.


Be prepared.


Take your time to study the organisation well before the interview and do well not to confuse them with some other organisation you have been to before for a similar interview. It is an innocent mistake, but it sends a message to the company that you’re not focused on.


Know that your body language speaks too.

Body language, proper posture, and maintaining eye contact are critical in making a good impression. You can have the most fantastic idea, but if you’re slumping in your chair when you’re delivering it, it won’t have the same impact. Sit upright in your chair and look the interviewer in the eyes when you’re speaking. Make sure you’re not crossing your arms or fidgeting with your hands. Actually, keeping good posture makes you feel more confident.


Have all these in mind when preparing for your next interview and the crowd would matter less to you.


Finally, don’t forget to smile throughout your interview. Remember that the interviewer wants you to do well –when an opening is filled it means less work (no more interviews) and help is on the way (you’ll be taking on the work). Smiling relaxes you and the interviewer. It also helps you appear friendlier and develop that connection. If you can even just remember to smile at the opening handshake, smile at the first question and smile at the close, then you have built-in at least three smiles for your interview. In this way, you can relax knowing the interviewer is on your side.


So, don’t wait until the job interview to start thinking about these things. You can also relax knowing that a good interview is a few simple steps and well within the reach of any job seeker willing to do a bit of preparation.