12 ways to stand out in a job interview
Your resume has done its job and gotten you through to a job interview. Now your ability to secure the role will come down to how you present yourself in the interview and whether or not you are able make a stand-out impression on the interviewer.
While doing well in an interview may ultimately rely on how well you prepare and answer questions about yourself and your suitability for a role, your opportunity to make a great impression does not stop there.
Take a little time to think about; your appearance, your body language and how you can connect with the interviewer, as it can all play a role in helping you make a greater impact in your interview.
Here are 12 ways to stand out and make a good impression at your next interview:
Dress to impress: Your appearance is the first impression an interview will have of you, so when you show up in neatly ironed clothing, scuff-less shoes and looking well groomed you’re already off to a good start.
Instead of pulling out your phone while waiting…use the time to look over your resume or read a company brochure if there’s one lying around. Not only is this a good preparation tool, but it will help you look more professional.
Smile often: A genuine smile is an effective way to build rapport immediately, and will make you seem approachable and generally more likeable.
Maintain eye contact: Good eye contact shows that you are actively engaged in the conversation. On the other hand, looking down or around the room too often will make you seem insincere or distracted.
Keep your body language positive: While it’s natural to be nervous, a few body language cues like keeping an open posture and sitting up straight, will help you present yourself confidently.
Learn the interviewer’s name: Remember the interviewer’s name when you are introduced and use it during the interview (when it feels natural or appropriate). It is a nice personal touch, and shows a level of attentiveness and respect
Find a connection: Engaging in a little small talk in order to find a connection of commonality with your interviewer, helps keeps the conversation flowing and more enjoyable.
Keep pace with the interviewer: Listen to and mirror their conversational style and tempo. If they are friendly and chatty, assume some of the same characteristics. If the interviewer is more to the point and analytical, try to be more specific with your answers.
Don’t just talk – listen: An interview is a two-way discussion, so let the interviewer complete their comments or questions fully, digest what they are really asking you, and respond accordingly.
Be concise: Be able to talk about yourself and your experiences in a few clear but concise sentences. This will go easiest if you've done a bit of practicing.
Be curious: Come prepared with some intelligent, insightful questions to ask the interviewer about the role or company.
Be polite and courteous: Basic good manners are an important way to make and leave a good impression. A simple “nice to meet you” and “thank you for your time” are always noted and appreciated.
These basic techniques may be the difference between a good interview performance, and a great one that will take you to the next stage of the hiring process.