How to stand out from the crowd
Job searching might make you feel like you’re one of the many ‘fish in the sea’. There are thousands of applicants from all over the world who might have equal (or better) qualifications. However, this is not a reason to give up. It’s about showing those recruiters that, although there are plenty others, you are the best match. Here are some tips on how to be that one special fish…or shark… whatever you prefer. Read along to find out!
Why fit in when you were born to stand out - Dr. Seuss
According to recruiters worldwide, ‘standing out’ is about getting the basics right. Once you are invited for your interview, the door is open. The company invited you because you have the right qualifications and that little extra they might be looking for. Now, it’s up to you to show them that you are confident and prepared.
Being excited and prepared from the start
It’s very important to be aware of your conduct as soon as you set foot in the building. Whether it’s for an assessment or for your actual interview, this is your day. Show that you’re enthusiastic, respectful, and well-prepared from the start. For instance, introduce yourself to the person at the reception desk and inform them about your presence, with the name of your interviewer and time of your meeting. More often than not, your behavior is reported back to the recruiters, so be aware of your demeanor. They say ‘your interview starts in the lobby’, keep that in mind!
Many candidates may be qualified, but what you want to be is qualified and excited for the job. Recruiters are often very impressed when they see enthusiasm despite your the nervousness. Enthusiasm is contagious and will rub off on your recruiter, making it harder for them to forget you. If you’re already excited for the job now, then why wouldn’t you be suitable?
Try to be as ready as possible for your interview. That means that you shouldn’t look overwhelmed or clumsy at the beginning of your interview. Hang your coat, put whatever items you carry with you (water bottle, notebook, etc.) in your bag so you have your hands free to greet the recruiter. Try to avoid situations that make you seem more nervous and less prepared than you actually are.
Preparing your story
There are a few questions in job interviews you’re just bound to get asked. Think of ‘tell me something about yourself’ or ‘Walk me through your resume’. Knowing this, make sure that you have this story ready. Write down what you want to say beforehand and practice this a few times in the mirror. Recording yourself is also an extremely handy tool to practice your ‘pitch’. Pick out what your recruiter should know about you and your fit to the job. Also, use the job description as a guide for what skills and experiences you need to highlight (a little extra).
Having questions to ask
In its essence, a job interview is nothing more than a two-way conversation. It’s important to interact with the recruiter. This includes preparing questions about the job or company setting. Many interviewers leave time for questions at the end of the interview. The questions you ask can be seen as an indication of your interest in and knowledge of the role, so prepare them well.
Ending on a strong note
Trust us, making a good first impression is just as important as ending your interview on a strong note. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate your interest in the role. Additionally, ask about next steps and who to contact for a follow up. Don’t be afraid of asking questions like this, it shows your interest! Most candidates feel relieved to be done with the interview and forget this step. However, it makes you stand out if you don’t.
Finally, don’t forget to smile :). Throughout your interview, smiling can help relax both you and the interviewer. Remember our three-smile rule. Smile at the opening hand shake then at the first question and a final smile at the close. This way, you have built in at least three smiles for your interview. Of course, you don’t have to think about it this much if you feel confident and enthusiastic enough. Optimally, the interview will feel like a casual conversation.
A good interview is a few simple steps away and well within the reach of any job seeker! Be a shark, pretty fish, or just find your inner Dory.
Good luck! And remember, standing out is sometimes in the little things.