Right now more people are leaving their current jobs in pursuit of new opportunities. This is making the job market a lot more competitive and increases your competition in getting the job you want. You may worry that your previous experience may not stack up against other applicants. But what if I told you that doesn’t put you at a disadvantage and you can stand out in your interview?
What plays a major factor is how well you interview against your peers. A great interview can get both feet in the door and make you stand out amongst others in your field. If you can leave a good impression with your potential employer, then it could lead to you getting the position. We are going to go over some “Do’s and Don’ts” that will make you stand out in your interview.
How to Dress
You want to dress the part for whatever position you apply for or even overdress. If you interviewing for an office position, it needs to be business professional. For guys that means: dress pants, button-up shirt, maybe a jacket and tie as well. For ladies: a nice blouse or shirt and a skirt or dress pants. Even for industrial jobs or if you are using a staffing agency, you should be presentable. This could mean a polo shirt and khakis or jeans for guys and jeans and a blouse for girls.
DO NOT under dress, it can really put across that you aren’t taking this seriously or you don’t put in effort. Going back to an office position: men should avoid wearing shorts and T-shirts while women shouldn’t dress in something revealing. And please don’t wear pajamas to an interview, if you do that then absolutely no one will hire you.
Do your Research
If you get a call back for an interview make sure to research on the company and the job. Much like you, an employer likes to be recognized for what they’ve accomplished so it’s good to know what all the company does. It’s equally important to know exactly what they are looking for on their open position. You’ll want to memorize key qualifications and what knowledge or software they expect you to have. Ask for clarification on things from the job description or things that were left out that you feel are important to know.
You’ve probably put in several applications while looking for work and that is good to keep your options open. But you don’t want to go into an interview blind and say “Which job is this for, I don’t remember.” While it’s an innocent question, it may convey that you don’t pay attention and you are wasting an employer’s time.
Back up your Experience
Every employer has their own set of questions, but they all want to know the same thing: “Why should I hire you over everyone else?” It’s still a business and they want to know how you can make them more profitable. This is when you need to make yourself standout.
Have you done something that has generated sales or caused a company to create revenue? Have you done something that has caused a company to save money or lower expenses? Even if you are not in a sales or money generating role, there are still important ways you have contributed. Maybe you eliminated a process that cut out extra steps and has saved on time. Maybe you reorganized a company’s filing system and made it easier to find documents a manager needed. These are things that stand out in an employer’s mind when interviewing people.
There are certain phrases that interviewers frequently hear that should be avoided when asked how you stand out amongst your peers. “I’m a hard worker/ I go above and beyond expectations.” “I’m a fast learner/ I pick up on things really quick.” “I don’t mind working overtime/ I’m flexible on hours.” “I’m a people person/ I can work with anyone.” You probably are the hardest worker or quickest learner, but we’ve been told that by the last 20 people. We’re expecting you to work the schedule given. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’re going to have to get along with everyone. Now is the time to find what makes you different.
When you stand out in your interview, you have to be prepared and think outside the box. Make sure you are dressed for the job you want, not the job you have (or don’t have). Know who you are going to potentially work for and what is expected of you. Find ways to make yourself desirable to an employer and make them want you. Not everyone is doing this, so you can get ahead of the competition and make yourself the top candidate in your field.