Scoring a job interview means you already got past the first round of selections, but if you want any chance of being called back, you have to create a first impression that beats out all the other candidates. Here are some effective tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
Bring New Information to the Interview
Chances are your potential employer has studied your resume by the time you step into a job interview. When your interviewer asks about accomplishments or experience, use the opportunity to expand on what your resume already shows, such as giving relevant details about how you accomplished a major goal and how it benefited the company. Job seekers who are changing career fields can take this time to explain how job skills from a past career can carry over to a new one.
Go Beyond Basic Answers
Give interviewers a more detailed picture of who you are as a professional by elaborating on your answers, especially when it comes to hypothetical interview questions. Spewing out even the best scripted answers comes off as fake, so speak naturally. Instead of trying to match exactly what the interviewer wants to hear, these answers feel more honest and genuine, which reflects on you as a candidate.
Keep Your Speech Focused
While you don't want your speech to feel stiff, over-comfortable answers can lead to dangerous slip-ups during a job interview. This may mean accidentally mentioning another company, particularly if you've passed through multiple interviews recently, or saying something negative about your previous employer, a serious foul.
Invest in Your Nonverbal Appeal
Using a clear voice and answering interview questions with confidence and professionalism carries weight, but you also need to dress the part. When in doubt, keep it formal when choosing job interview attire. You can also stand out by controlling your body language. Make eye contact to show confidence and sit up straight for a professional look. Remember to pay attention to your hands, avoiding fidgeting or crossing your arms.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
When the interviewer opens the floor for you to ask your own questions, it's always a good idea to have a few prepared. Questions about the company culture and teamwork make a good impression, but try not to ask about salary, benefits and time off, which can come off as self-centered. However, if you want to one-up the majority of candidates, ask questions based on something the interviewer brought up during your conversation. This shows you're engaged, paying attention and thinking on your feet rather than just leaning on your job interview preparation.
The interview is your big chance to show your potential employer what you can bring to the organization, so treat it like the crucial first impression it is. What other tips do you think help candidates stand out during a job interview?
Photo courtesy of Deidre Augustus at Flickr.com
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