Job interviews can be tough, especially in the current job market. You need to do everything possible to make a great first impression at your interview if you want to land that job!
Follow our helpful guide about how to make yourself stand out from the crowd of other applicants at your next job interview:
Do your company research
It always pays to do a little bit of homework before your interview to find out as much as you can about the company you are applying to. Look through the company website for a good idea of their style and approach towards the public. Read any available press releases they have published to give you a good insight in to the company goals and objectives.
If they do a lot of work for charity, note this down and find out if they have any preferred charity organisations that they help. A bit of history about the charities they support would also give you something positive to say about the company should your interviewer ask you why you want to work for them.
Check the job specifications
Make sure that you don’t continually send out a generic resume for ever job you apply for. If you want to stand out from other candidate’s, then you need to amend your resume to match your skills to the job specifications. Highlight or prioritize those skills on your resume to make sure that they stand out the most as your interviewer scans over your details.
Interviews will often start with a question such as “tell me about yourself” while they sit and scan over your resume in front of you at the same time. You will want to ensure that your answers back up what is highlighted on your resume. Try to stick to talking about your skills that match the job requirement and that make you qualified for the post rather than launching into a long and rambling story of your life.
Research your business sector
Researching your industry or business sector can demonstrate that you know what is going on in the world and what particular trends are happening. Interviewers like to see that you can look at the bigger picture and see how their company fits in and works with others within the same industry. Showing an interest in something more than the job alone will paint you in a good light, and as someone who has the potential for possible future job promotions and increased responsibilities within the company.
Demonstrate your knowledge
Prepare at least two examples of your experience where you demonstrated your skills in the workplace. Remember the exact actions you took to remedy and deal with the issues that arose and what the results were of your actions. Rehearse and run these scenarios through your head like you are watching an action movie. Choose skills and actions that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Recounting skills and actions that are not linked in some way to this potential new job can lead to confusion, so make sure your stories are relevant.
Plan your interview wardrobe
Deciding what to wear to your job interview is not as straightforward as you think. Most corporate or big company job interviews will expect you to be smart and presentable, so a good business suit in neutral shades will be your best option here. However, it will always pay to research the company office culture and dress code beforehand so that you don’t clash with their in-house style. If you are going with a smart business suit, make sure it is clean and well pressed. It may pay to have it dry-cleaned before your interview so you can go in feeling strong and confident.
Don’t be late
If you have to travel some distance to reach your job interview, make sure that you plan out your route perfectly. There is absolutely nothing worse than arriving late for your interview, or phoning in because you are completely lost! It would be a good idea to do a couple of practice runs to test out and time your route to make sure that you will arrive in plenty of time for your interview.
Watch out for unexpected issues such as road closures for roadworks or other events that may impede your journey to your interview. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your interview. This will give you time to compose yourself and do a last-minute bit of preparation. Make sure you visit the bathroom before your interview, and give yourself a final check over in the mirror so you are completely ready for your interview.
Put on your marketing head
As you are entering the interview room, imagine that you are walking in there to sell a product. In this case the product you are selling is yourself, but the same rules apply. You have your own personal brand and you are attempting to make this as appealing as possible to your interviewer.
If you are asked any questions during your interview that you don’t quite understand or are unsure of how to answer, then don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. This not only demonstrates your confidence and communication skills but also saves both you and your interviewer from wasting precious interview time.
Finally, never forget to value yourself. It is easy to become nervous or overwhelmed by your surroundings or the interview process. Remember that you are a perfect fit for this job and the company will benefit from the skills and knowledge you will bring to the role. Keep calm and act as natural as possible. You can do this!