There is a lot of effort put into job searching daily,
resumes are updated, edited, and posted to the multitude of employment websites
on the internet. If you are one of the many people searching for a job and you
finally get the call back for an interview, what is there to do next? Interview
preparation is the next step and a very necessary one at that. Proper
preparation can lead to that “new” job as long as you are the candidate that
makes the most impact.
Keep in mind that although an employer has seen your resume
and has taken an interest in you as a possible candidate, they have also taken
an interest in other candidates as well. This interview is your opportunity to
stand out from the rest of the pack, to “sell” yourself as the best
possible candidate to the interviewer.
The only problem here is that everyone else is trying to do
the same thing. Help reach your employment goals with the following guide:
Interview Preparation – Research the company you will be
Knowledge is power, and in the case of any interview, a
great way to make yourself stand out. Educate yourself about the company you
will be interviewing with. Thoroughly review the company website to learn about
who they are and what they are doing in their industry. This is a way to help
identify ways that you can benefit the company and show that you are not only
bringing experience to the table, you will bring new insight as well. If you
cannot find specific information about the company, formulate questions for
your interviewer. Show interest and enthusiasm for the job, come to the
Utilize Social Networking
With the advent of social media and the ability to network
socially and share information easily you have the opportunity to engage with
the company even before interviewing. This can be a great way to market
yourself to a company and to show that you are a great fit for their position.
Resumes can only say so much, and with networks like Linkedin you can showcase
your skills and credibility through endorsements and references before the
interview process begins. The social media channels will also allow you to do
additional research the company and potentially the position you will be
Engaging the interviewer does not mean that you should only
ask about salary and benefits. There will be a time and a place during the
interview process to talk about them but, they are not the only things to ask
about. Show the interviewer that you WANT to work with the company for other
reasons than salary and benefits. Engaging questions about the company’s future
plans, what would be expected of you in your roll there, and how your
performance be measured all show interest and preparedness for a new
opportunity. Use the research that you did on the company to your advantage,
come prepared with your questions about the company and your insights about it.
Use these in tandem with conversation about your skill sets to show how you can
be a beneficial employee. A commonly overlooked accessory to have in interviews
is a notebook, bring one, and use it. Take notes during the interview,
especially when the employer is answering your questions.
Highlight your skills/talents
It is important to show why and how you will be valuable to
the company. Although, most every person interviewing will be doing the same
thing. This creates the necessity for you to think differently from the rest of
the potential candidates. Find a way to show the employer or recruiter why you
would be the perfect hire, and do so in a way that will make you stand out.
Create a small presentation that will highlight your skills through visual
examples such as a portfolio or video. Create a hypothetical, problematic scenario
and show how you would fix it, come up with an ad campaign, or your present
some of your ideas for business improvements in a unique way. Be proactive and
creative! Efforts such as these can be “outside of the box”, should be well
crafted but not presumptuous, and can definitely get you noticed.
Dress for Success
“Dress for the job you want, not the job you
have”, is a commonly used adage we have all heard, over and over again
but, it should be taken seriously. Dressing well often adds to a person’s
confidence level and can show professionalism to the interviewer.
A personalized thank you letter, the last piece to standing
out in an interview, has the potential to save a botched interview and make you
truly stand out from the rest of the pack. The follow up/thank you letter gives
you the opportunity to touch on specific conversation points from the interview
making you personable and memorable. While reaffirming your interest in working
with the company with a final opportunity to “Wow!” the employer.
While each interview will be conducted differently there
will always be the potential for you to stand out. Make it a point to do so,
and you will be one step closer to your next employment opportunity!