You’ve crafted the perfect cover letter, your resume is polished, and you’ve secured yourself a job interview. Now the challenge really begins. How will you set yourself apart from the dozens or of other applicants the company will be speaking with?
Here are five essential tips for making an excellent interview impression.
Make a Lasting Impressions During Interviews
1. Go beyond describing your skills
Anyone can talk about their skills and achievements, but you may fall short if you don’t follow through. Whatever experience you might be discussing, try to bring it back to how that will benefit them.
When given the opportunity to talk about a skill or experience, do more than just present it. Continue by telling them where that skill comes from, how you developed it, or why you needed it in the past. Finally, end by showing them how that same skill can be put to work in this new position.
2. Reframe your blind spots
The most dreaded question for any interviewee is surely the one about your weaknesses. Admitting to something negative about yourself in such a high stakes situation can be difficult to maneuver. Rather than an obvious lie (“I guess I just work too hard”), try reframing an honest problem.
If you’re a procrastinator, tell them how it has taught you the value of time management. If you’re easily distracted, show them how that forced you to carve out the perfect workspace for optimizing your focus.
3. Research, research, research
In the digital age, there is no excuse for going into a job interview unprepared. Spend some time on your target company’s website. Check the About Us page or perhaps the one called Our Mission. Look for key terms that this company values and think about how you might have demonstrated those qualities in the past. Once you find ways to inject these ideas into your own stories, you’ll seem like a natural fit for the job.
4. Dress the part
This might seem obvious, but the clothes you choose for the interview can really set you apart. Rather than automatically going for typical formal attire, peruse the internet for images of their employees or take a walk past the location and see what their employees wear. Mirroring the team attire can make them feel like you already belong.
5. Ask the right questions
At some point, your interviewer is bound to ask if you have any questions for them. This is an opportunity to make a lasting impression, so don’t pass it up. Try asking them what their favourite aspect of working for this company is. This not only shows interest in the broader corporate culture but will make the interviewer stop to reflect honestly on their own experience, and certainly remember the applicant who asked.