Congratulations! You just got the call to interview for your dream job in your dream company. Woohoo! But hold up with all that excitement and building castles in the air, counting your possible new salary etc.
There are probably a couple of others that got a similar call for that same interview. After all, the interview is only the second step after submitting a job application. There are a couple more steps you might need to take to get that job. Think tests, second and third interviews, background checks and whatnot. These are some more steps that come to mind.
So the question is, how can you best sell yourself in that initial interview? That is, how can you stand out? These are just what I mention in the three points captured below. You are welcome!
Ask a stand out question
The only thing worse than a candidate that does not have prepared questions for the interviewer is a candidate with zero preparation. A great question for your interviewer shows you are engaged and interested in the company. You want to show off your knowledge of the company and industry with the question. Let’s say you are interviewing with Facebook for instance. You could ask about the company’s plans to continue to ensure privacy for its users with all the recent security concerns on the site. Make sure your question is pertinent to current issues faced by the company or industry.
Ask a personal question
So you already asked one great question about the company. Ask another about your interviewer. Interviewers/hiring managers are people too. Research them on LinkedIn etc. I once asked a hiring manager about her passion for Girls Scouts, a fact I had found out about by googling her. We ended up spending more than 10 minutes on the subject. Do you think she remembered me when compared with other candidates? Your guess is as good as mine.
Listen carefully and answer slowly
We all get nervous especially in unfamiliar situations. When interviewing, employers are not only looking for employees with the technical skills required for the job but for those that have those skills and work and communicate well with others. An interview is a great way to show off the latter. Don’t jump the gun with your answers to questions. Don’t talk over your interviewers. Let them speak and ensure they have your attention. Nod, provide eye contact, take notes, little cues to show you are actively listening and giving them your full attention. It shows you are engaged and interested in whatever the interviewer has to say. And when it is finally time to answer questions posed, take a deep breath, count 3- 5 seconds and go.
Employees, what interviewing tips have worked for you in your career? Employers, what have your favourite candidates done differently?