Congratulations on securing an interview!
Your resume clearly did its job by passing that employer's Applicant Tracking software and presenting you as the moa top candidate for the job. Now it's time to seal the deal by standing out in your interview.
At this point and time, the interviewer is trying to get to know you: how you think and solve problems, how you communicate, and how well you may fit in with the company culture. Your challenge is no longer to prove that you are the most qualified candidate for the job but to stand out from the other candidates who are being interviewed.
I asked 11 of my colleagues to share their expertise, and these are their best job interview tips that will certainly make you stand out from the others.
"If you want to stand out in an interview, focus on the problems of the company. Most of your competitors are going to be focused on getting the job, on how they are performing in the interview, and how well the job fits them. While all of those things are important, if you really want to stand out, you also have to research the company's issues and think through how you are uniquely positioned to solve them. Ideally, you'll be interviewing at companies where you can make an impact and the issues will be ones that you can bring your unique strengths and skills to.
Really standing out happens before the interview ever occurs because you've found alignment between what you can offer and what the company needs, and you've been able to articulate in your resume and in other ways that you're the person for the job. The interview is your chance to bring that message home."
"Most people rely on their experience and self-rated strong communication skills going into an interview. That’s not enough. To stand out and to get the offer, you need two things. One, conduct a needs assessment before and during the interview. It’s imperative to understand the employer’s pain points, goals, and desired solution. Second, incorporate your brilliance (unique value proposition) into your answers as it’s relevant to demonstrating your value and fit as their ideal solution.
This is the sales part! You’re articulating your passion, skills, and impact in a way that shows understanding of the job and the employer’s needs. You want to be impressive and polished but positioned in a way that fits the company culture and interpersonal dynamic. Remember to use specific examples of your experience and measurable achievements and let your smile and enthusiasm show!"
"Have a super strong elevator pitch ready – it’s an incredible opportunity to set the tone of the conversation from the outset. When asked the inevitable question, "Tell me about yourself,” quickly summarize (in three minutes) the following:
A) A brief summary of your work history, which clearly aligns your experience and skills to the role.
B) A few notable career accomplishments clearly highlighting your ability to deliver results.
C) An indication of why you’re excited to be interviewing for this particular role, with this particular company. Show off the fact that you’ve done some research by clearly drawing a connection between your interests and what’s happening in the organization.
Then stop talking, and smile. If you’ve done your job well, you’ve planted the idea that you’re worth talking to, and seeded the upcoming conversation with topics that, if revisited, will provide you the opportunity to shine.
"I feel that the best way to stand out from other candidates is to know exactly how your skill set can benefit the company that you are interviewing with.
You need to be confident in what you bring to the table and know what the employer is looking for based on the job description and what you have researched about the company. Have good examples of how your skills have benefited previous employers. Express your accomplishments in the other positions you have held. If you are confident in what you do it will show through in the interview and you will be able to show them what you have to offer thus standing out ahead of the other candidates."
"Master the mulligan!
Candidates should email each person with whom they interviewed <12 hours after the interview. This communiqué must do far more than simply thank the interviewer(s) for the courtesies extended in the meeting. It is the perfect platform for solidifying value proposition and reiterating each of the areas of strength that align with what the employer is seeking.
It is the opportunity to “do over” (hence the mulligan analogy to golf) any interview responses that were less than stellar or prompted the classic, “Why didn’t I tell them about my work with ‘x’ when they asked me about 'y’?” when they got to their car after the interview or “When you discussed the problems your team is facing with ‘x,’ I neglected to mention my experience handling ‘a, b, and c’ in my role with ‘z’ that is highly transferable to this role.” Candidates who leverage this powerful communication tool will find it to be a real game-changer.
"Utilizing the position job description as your guide, create a PowerPoint outlining the match between your qualifications and the role, including achievements that drive home your unique contributions to your field to date. In slide #1, include your WhyBuyROI (why they should hire you + a measurable indication of the ROI your hire has delivered in the past). In the subsequent slides, include a brief CAR (challenge | action | result) story that supports your experience with each of the required job elements. Your final slide should showcase your 2-minute personal commercial.
Altogether, your presentation should be about 10-12 slides long max. If no projector is available, present your slides via handouts. You may only have a few minutes to do this, so be prepared to summarize your most critical qualifications and slides briefly but powerfully."
"The Interview - It’s not about you.
Most people hear that and think I’ve lost it. But after interviewing 1,000’s of people, I am sure it is true.
A hiring decision maker is not going to hire you because it will mean a shorter commute for you.
They are not interested in knowing that this job would look good on your resume.
They want to know how you are going to solve their problem. If you can figure out what that is, you put yourself ahead of 70% pf your competition. Do they need a strong sales closer, someone to control expenses, someone to improve customer service? The information is out there, you just need to dig a little.
So, do your homework, show your value and how you can solve their problem. You will be a lot closer to hearing those magic words, 'You’re hired.'"
"To stand out from other candidates, read How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie and LIVE by it in the days leading up to your interview. It will transform how you present yourself, interact with other people, and speak about your work experience as it relates to the open position.
Instead of rehearsing a few memorized monologues in the mirror, up your game by using your everyday life as the practice field for your interview by incorporating a few of the book’s principles. If you don’t have time to read the entire book, start with Part II, Six Ways to Make People Like You."
"The best way to stand out from other candidates in the interview, is by positioning yourself as the solution for the problem the company is trying to solve. A job opening exists because the organization has a problem that none of the current employees can solve. There is a missing function that is preventing the organization from operating as smoothly and effectively as possible. If they had someone who could do the job, they wouldn’t be spending valuable time interviewing outside candidates. Figure out “What’s keeping the hiring manager up at night?” and use this as a guide when you speak about your past relevant experience in the interview setting.
If you stay focused on the company’s problem and communicate your relevant fit, you will be perceived by your interviewers as the one and only person who can solve that problem, making you irresistible compared to other candidates!"
"As a college professor one of the things I hear most is “I have an interview coming up, what can I do to stand out from all the others?” My number one piece of advice is to prepare ahead of time.
This includes learning as much as you can about the company and the person you will be interviewing with. Research the company’s website and review the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. This will give you a better idea of company culture.
To show your interest, follow the company on all of it’s social profiles. You can also like and comment on posts or articles the company has produced.
Another valuable step to prepare ahead of time is to practice your answers to popular interview questions such as “What are your greatest strengths?”, “Where do you see yourself in five years?" or "Out of all the other candidates, why should we hire you?
The preparation you do a ahead of time will give you an extra dose of confidence. You’ll be more relaxed and better able to answer questions during the interview."
"Craft answers to Behavioral Interview questions prior to the interview. I take every one of my clients through an exercise to develop these before walking in an interviewer’s door. Go through performance reviews, your own resume examples of success, think about projects you have worked on, documentation you have created, how you contributed to cost savings or profit and revenue development, and how you increased customer service. Write these in a format of Challenge, Action and (successful) Result and take them with you in a career portfolio to the interview. Now you will have an arsenal of perhaps 20 or more examples to refer to if necessary. You can write them in a brief synopsis (three sentences will be sufficient) but can share and expand on during your interview session.
Since nearly every interview has Behavioral Interview questions, this exercise will pay huge dividends in your success. Don’t be stuck trying to think of an answer for every interview question that comes your way, prepare ahead and reduce your stress while you impress."