According to recent research conducted with leading company hiring decision makers, nine out of ten HR managers go into candidate interviews looking for those applicants that are the most switched on and informed about the company.
Most interviewers tend to prioritize candidates that are more informed over others who are not, and just seem to be going through the motions of the interview to find a job – any job! So, with this in mind, you should make sure that you do all that you can to help yourself stand out from the crowd. You need to separate yourself from those other candidates that are simply applying for the job without any strong or deep desire to work in the role or even within the industry.
You have to remember that what could be a dream job to you, may simply be just another temporary stepping stone to someone else. Many candidates apply for jobs that they consider as mere stop-gaps until something better comes along. Interviewers are quite savvy about this and don’t really want to waste their time and effort to invest in someone for the role who may only stick around for a few months before moving on. It is your job to convince them that you mean business and will be loyal to the company.
Interviewers tend to target several key areas when considering a candidate. Let’s take a look at what they are looking for and how you can get yourself noticed and stand out from the crowd.
1. Asking the right questions
Do your homework on the company and prepare some relevant questions to ask during your interview. This will show the employer that you have taken some time to research the company and have become familiar with their company ethos and mission. It takes a lot of time and money to go through the recruitment process, so an interviewer will be impressed that you are not wasting their time.
2. Have a stand out resume
Your resume needs to showcase your top skills, that is quite obvious. But you also need to make sure that those key skills that the company are looking for in a candidate are clearly highlighted and easy to spot from the very first skim of your resume.
3. Demonstrate your knowledge
The interview environment isn’t the best place to be able to truly demonstrate your existing skills and knowledge to your advantage. However, showing that you are knowledgeable about the role and being able to talk with confidence about how your skills and work experience can fit in, you will be showing that you have done your research and are well prepared for the role.
4. Company culture
Showing that you understand the company culture and share their core values can put you in good stead with your interviewer. By researching the company website, reading their blog and press-releases, you can pick up key areas of value to back up your interview. You can explain how you would feel good about working for their company as their ethos supports your own personal values and individual work ethics.
5. Agree the package and your expectations
During your interview it is usual to have the role expectations explained to you along with the remuneration package and benefits. If you feel that these requirements are not realistic for the salary on offer, then say so. It is better to ask about the possibility of negotiating a better package up front rather than leaving with no intention of taking the role. You need to find out how flexible they are willing to be. It may be that the company has got it wrong. How will they know they are offering the wrong package for the role unless someone queries it?
6. Quality cover letter
When a company is asking for candidates to submit a covering letter or extra information in addition to your resume, make sure that you provide it. Depending on their interview process, your cover letter could be part of an internal scoring process that would mean you missing out on an interview if you fail to supply what is needed. Always double check their application requirements to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity.
These days employers are looking for candidates that are careful and have thought a lot about where they want to work. Being mindful about the roles you take and why you want to join their company will tell the employer that you show great interest in the role on offer. It would also show them that you will have a level of commitment to the company for the future.