Job Interviews: 5 Tips on How to Stand Out From Other Candidates
Job interviews can be a nerve-wrecking thing, but it helps if you know the techniques to become a memorable candidate.
1. Prep your mindset: understand why they’re hiring.
Remember that companies are hiring because, most of the time, they desperately need someone to help them do this job. The interviewer is not a terrifying monster who’s out to get you, criticize you, or expose your flaws. They want you to get the job, so that they won’t have to waste another week or month shuffling through hundreds of resumes instead of doing meaningful work.
2. Be a human, not a list of bullet points.
The interviewer has already seen that list on your resume and already believed that you are qualified, that’s why they called you in. They’re now meeting you in person to:
- See whether you can back up what you claimed on your resume
- Learn your personality & whether you’d be enjoyable* to work with
Make sure to show them your personality. (*I don’t mean enjoyable as in just fun to work with, but also reliable, competent, as well as personable).
3. Do your homework.
- Know the company in relations to the job you’re applying to, e.g. if you’re applying for a marketing position, do you know about the new ad campaign they just launched 2 weeks ago? Mention it.
- Know the range of salary you want because you may be asked. Calculate by researching the average salary for this position in your area, the range of salary for this company (search Glassdoor and Quora), and taking into account your current/previous salary, and what would be acceptable for you now.
- Learn the interviewer’s name and memorize it ASAP. Use it when thanking them.
4. Be specifically enthusiastic about what they do and what you can contribute.
Show that you’re sincerely interested in working here. A good opportunity to do this is when they ask if you have any questions. You can mention things like how you love their new innovative project and believe in the impact it will create, or how the company is environmentally conscious and it aligns with your value, etc. You will stand out far beyond other candidates who are going through whatever interview at whichever company they can get (believe me, it shows, and rather obviously).
5. You’re also choosing them.
It’s your job to determine whether this company, this team, and the work culture here is right for you. The interview is a good chance to figure this out. If it’s a smaller company or not a strictly formal interview, you can generally ask to meet the team briefly. If not, ask about what it’s like to work here, and what the team is like. If you take whatever you can get, you’d have to put up with whatever is thrown at you, and most of the time, you won’t like it.
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