7 Job Interview Tips To Make You Stand Out
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
The competition to get that job you want is already fierce, but the real work starts in the interview. Here are some practical job interview tips to help you stand out.
1. Research the company and position
Research the company and position. Before you go into your interview, make sure you have a solid understanding of the company and the position. Google “[Name of Company] mission statement” to find out what they believe in and why they do what they do. The key is to research so much that you can have an organic conversation with your interviewer about the company. For example, when asked “Why do you want to work for [Company Name]?” don't say, “I need a job and I heard there are openings here.” Instead, share how your values align with their mission or something about their culture that really resonates with you as a potential employee. If this sounds super daunting at first, think of it like going on a date—you wouldn't ask someone out without knowing anything about them!
2. Review your resume
You've worked hard on your resume and cover letter, but it doesn't hurt to double-check the document before you send it out.
Go back and make sure everything is up-to-date.
Make sure you are relevant for the position in which you are applying. If you don't have the experience, don't try and fudge it, or even leave that job off—simply state that you'd like to further develop your skills in this area.
Ensure there are no errors on your resume. Whether it's misspellings or grammatical errors; when hiring managers spot mistakes, they will think less of your attention to detail. Make 100% positive that everything is correct!
Confirm that you can speak to each point on your resume (especially those related to the job position). You never know what questions the interviewer may have regarding a certain project or skill set listed on your resume, so make sure you can answer any of their queries with confidence and clarity!
3. Prepare for your interview
You want to be prepared for your interview by practicing answering questions, preparing a list of questions to ask the interviewer and understanding what the company does.
You want to prepare for answering these questions:
Tell me about yourself.
What do you know about the company?
Why are you interested in this job?
What are your weaknesses?
What are your strengths?
4. Proofread your interview materials
Typos, grammar errors, and misspelled words are red flags to recruiters indicating that you aren't detail-oriented. These mistakes suggest either that you didn't take the time to proofread your materials or that you're not a good writer. Either one of those things will make it difficult for a potential employer to trust in your abilities.
To avoid these issues, ask a friend or colleague to review your resume and cover letter before submitting them for an application. Additionally, check the email address you use in your correspondence; the name on your email should be professional and should match the name on your resume (or have some logical connection with it). Recruiters will also notice any funny or inappropriate voicemail messages associated with the contact information listed on your resume.
5. Ditch nervous tendencies
Nervousness is a normal part of job interview prep. But if you let nervousness get the better of you, it can undermine your chances of getting the job. Understanding that nervousness is normal can help alleviate some anxiety, but there are other things you can do to calm down and look and sound more confident during an interview than you actually feel.
First, understand that being nervous means the stakes matter to you. It's OK to be nervous before an important event like a job interview; in fact, feeling some nerves can boost your performance because it means you care about how you do. But too much anxiety—or letting your nervousness show—can cause problems during the interview itself (hint: Speaking really fast with a high-pitched voice isn't going to inspire confidence in any hiring manager). To avoid this problem, take steps to reduce your stress levels before the big day:
6. Dress to impress
"Dress to impress," but don't overdo it. And please, make sure your clothes fit you well, especially if they are business casual. Don't wear a suit to an interview if that is not the style of the company—it will look out of place and weird. For example, if a company is very informal and all of their employees wear jeans every day, don't show up for your interview in a suit and tie because you think it's what they expect—you will just look like you don't fit in with the culture. The key is to dress appropriately for the job you're interviewing for, not to dress as "formally" as possible (unless that's really appropriate).
7. Follow up with a thank-you note or email
One of the most influential things you can do to set yourself apart from the competition is to send a thank-you note or email within 24 hours of the interview. This shows your interviewer that you are an appreciative individual, and it gives you one more chance to reiterate your interest in the position and highlight another reason why they should hire you.
The interview process is never a comfortable one. It's just a fact of the world we live in. The difference between getting hired or not will often boil down to the impression you make—and that impression has to be made in a short amount of time. So it's important to do your best and make sure you really stand out in the minds of the decision-makers.