It can be painful these days to stand out among the crowd in a job market where applicants for a single position frequently number above 100, especially on paper. The task is easier in person, but you could still be competing against several other applicants.
Here are ten ways to increase your chances of being hired by standing out at your next job interview:
1. Make a great impression quickly.
You only get one chance to form a great impression. Don’t spend it fumbling for your purse or shuffling through your resume. Be prepared for the interviewer to appear at any moment. From the time you enter the building, you should be composed, confident, and ready to flash a smile at everyone you meet.
2. Make sure you really want the job.
Yes, the job market is slow, but if you’re applying for every job opening you see whether you really want that job or not, it’s a good fit for you or not, your lack of enthusiasm for the position is sure to come through loud and clear during your interview.
3. Bring your passion for the interview.
What gets you excited? How can you relate that to the position you’re applying for? Find something about the job that inspires you and focuses on that. When you are energized with enthusiasm, people can’t help but notice. The enthusiasm of this kind is contagious, and it will help the interviewer see you as the perfect candidate for the job.
4. Make your appearance a little bit memorable.
No, you don’t want to go crazy with your apparel, but a little splash of colour can give a lot of personality to an otherwise drab outfit. A great necklace, a fun pair of glasses, or a splashy set of cuff links can really make an impression, especially if everyone else wears a plain, boring suit.
5. Wow, them with your portfolio.
Bring your success portfolio, and make sure it shines. Have a copy to leave with the interviewer so there will be more in your file than just a cover letter and resume. It will make you stand out and give the interviewer something to jog their memory as they go over the applicants again.
6. Prepare a presentation.
Pretend you are a freelancer trying to win a contract and you have a meeting to show the company owner what you can do for them. What would you put into your proposal to get them to hire you? This is your chance to show the interviewer you understand what the company needs and know exactly how to provide it.
7. Tell stories.
People remember stories. Whenever possible, try to incorporate an example into your answer for each question. Before you go into the interview, prepare stories by trying to think of situations in which you overcame a problem, such as dealing with a difficult customer or having someone else take credit for your work. Turn the situation into an anecdote that demonstrates your ability to solve problems positively.
8. Find ways to tie experience to the job.
If you don’t have precisely the experience or training the interviewer is looking for, go through the requirements and look for ways to use the experience you do have to fill the gaps. What else have you done that requires a similar skill set?
9. Be prepared to answer tough questions, and ask a few of your own.
What are the questions you hope the interviewer won’t ask? Those are the ones you need to be the most prepared for. Why you get fired from your last job? Can you explain the two-year gap in your work history? Have a quick answer ready for these questions, but also be prepared to go into a more lengthy explanation if you are probed for details.
10. Always try to have a good impression on everyone you meet.
If you are rude to the receptionist, you can bet she’ll tell the interviewer after you leave. Greet everyone with a confident smile, make eye contact, stand or sit up straight, and mind your manners. You’ll never know when you get a chance to run into the CEO in the parking lot or lobby.
If you follow these tips, then you’re sure to make a good impression on the interviewer and ensure you won’t be forgotten. Being memorable will increase your chances of making the next round of interviews and eventually getting hired.
What other techniques have worked for you? Share with us below!