Creative Ways to Stand Out in a Job Interview
In today’s competitive employment market, your dream job is probably another person’s ideal position too so if you want to stand out in a job interview and get an offer, you’ll need to do more.
Research the company.
Take time in the days and weeks before the interview to learn all you can about the company, its history, its strategy, and its leaders. Pay special attention to any information you can find about the people who will be interviewing you. This intelligence will prove invaluable when you’re trying to make a connection during the meeting.
Remember that your interview starts in the lobby.
Arrive early to compose yourself before walking into the building. Listen to music and practice proper breathing techniques to help you relax and improve your mindset. Read over your notes and questions as well as the answers you'll present to the interviewer.
Imitate behaviors of your interviewer.
This may sound strange, but if you pick up on the interviewer’s actions and reflect them (within reason and using restraint), it can help you make a connection. For example, if your interviewer has high energy and gestures while he or she talks, strive to express that high level of liveliness. And vice versa: if your questioner is calm and serious, tame your energy down a bit.”
If you make a mistake, let it go.
Most people will stumble at least once during an interview. But if you struggle for a minute, you can’t let it derail the rest of the meeting. The best thing to do at that time is to “focus on the moment.” Answer the current question as if it’s the first and regain your poise. The interviewers may remember your skill in recovering from an error.
Present a 30-60-90 plan.
Give the interviewer an outline of the results you expect to accomplish in the first 30, 60 and 90 days of the job. Describe your plan for learning how to perform in your role during each of these periods and how it aligns with your department's performance. Incorporate how you can use your strengths to reach the goals you're setting for yourself.
Ask unique questions.
Ask pointed questions to the interviewer to help you determine if it's the right position for you. Companies like answering questions because asking them shows your inclination to understand key details about the position. Stick to asking questions associated with job responsibilities and qualifications.
Engage in casual conversation.
Speak with the interviewer briefly about their hobbies and interests outside of the workplace. This discussion shows that you're trying to build an authentic connection with them.
Reiterate your interest in the position.
At the end of your interview, reiterate that you're interested in the position and thank the interviewer for speaking to you. The interviewer should provide you with more details about the next steps if they're interested in speaking with you further. Send a follow-up email 24 to 48 hours after the interview to get an update on your candidacy.