You have finally been offered a job interview after what seems like endless applications?
Now that you have laid the foundation with your resume and landed the interview, it’s time to prepare and think about how you will make the best impression. Your nerves may begin to set in, and you wonder if you are genuinely qualified for the position. Stay calm; you can do it!
First of all, You want your interview to be memorable. Not in the sense that you came unprepared, jumbled up your notes, and arrived ten minutes late. You want to leave a positive imprint on the hiring manager. It would help if you left feeling like you did everything you possibly could to impress them.
How do you do that, you might ask? Well, here are some Creative Ways to Stand Out in a Job Interview…
- Before The Interview
- The Big Day
- Still Not Feeling Confident Quite Yet?
- Final Thoughts
Before The Interview
You may have heard the cliche phrase before; preparation is key. Well, it is. The worst thing you can do going into an interview is not to prepare yourself for everything possible. Preparing not only looks good to the potential employer. But, it also makes you seem interested in the position and have done your research.
It is essential for yourself too. You will have fewer nerves and anxiety if you come to your interview knowledgeable.
Do your Research
Things you should know before an interview, regardless of the job role:
- The company name
- Various company products
- The values and ethics
- When the company began
- Your interviewer’s name
- The job role location
- Any recent achievements
Knowing the basics of the company means you can drop in some of this information while your interview takes place. If the company has recently had an achievement or launched a new product, bringing this up in an interview can make you stand out.
Read the Job Description
Make sure you have read and re-read the job description. This can help you relate your experience to the role requirements. Here, you can impress your interviewer by taking critical points from the job spec and talking about where your strengths lie. Taking some notes beforehand and studying the issues you want to talk about will help you for the big day!
The employer may ask the most straightforward questions, such as what do you know about the role? If you can’t answer that, chances are, you won’t get the job. Understanding the job role and requirements is crucial in the interview process.
Dress to Impress
First impressions do count. The job interview invitation may state your attire if it doesn’t always go with smart/casual. You’ll know yourself the type of place you are applying for, so you can dress a little smarter if it’s in a fancy office building.
If you see the company is hip and creative, you can go with this, but don’t turn up in jeans and an old t-shirt. Over the past 30 years, workplaces have changed how employees dress.
Interview day is not casual Friday…
Many companies offer casual days where employees can wear whatever they want to the workplace. A hiring manager won’t judge you if you are overdressed, but they may if you don’t make an effort at all.
Research your Interviewer
Take a look on their LinkedIn, snoop on their social media pages if there’s a company website, have a look there too! Knowing personal information about your interviewer may allow you to connect on another level.
You may share some common interests or beliefs. You don’t want it to look like you have been over researching them, but you can find a common interest whether it stems from a question they’ve asked or you.
The Big Day
Now the interview day is finally here, stay calm and be confident in your preparation.
Once the interview day is finally here, please arrive on time. Not only does it give a good impression of you as a potential employee, but it also shows you are organized. If you turn up late, the hiring manager can already question if punctuality is your priority. If you arrive late and flustered, it may impact your entire interview.
Although, don’t turn up to your interview 30 minutes early; that’s just a little awkward. Arriving five to ten minutes before you’re due to start is perfect and gives you just enough time to recover from the commute and get yourself ready.
Location and Interviewer
If your interview is taking place in an area or part of the city you’ve never visited, you can always make the commute in your free time to gauge how long it takes and have a nosey at the building. This helps, especially if you are a nervous person. Knowing where you’re going takes a bit of pressure off.
You must know who is interviewing you. Imagine turning up at the front desk explaining you are here to interview for a position and the receptionist asking who you are meeting. If you don’t know their name, it doesn’t leave a great impression, nor does it sit well with the employer if they were to find out.
No one wants to employ a grumpy, closed-off person. If you think this is you, try to relax and come across as more personable. It is much easier if you are naturally confident, comfortable, and cheery.
However, not everyone is blessed with this type of personality. Make sure you walk straight and sit upright with your shoulders back. During your interview, or in the waiting room for that matter, don’t cross your arms. Body language experts state that crossed arms reflect hostility and disinterest.
These may seem like extra things to worry about, but why not practice in front of a mirror.
The tone of Voice and Pace
If you are one of those who speed up their pace when nervous, don’t worry. This is one of the most common and natural things to happen during an interview, and most hiring managers will have seen it all before.
It may help if you state that at the beginning that you tend to talk quickly when you’re nervous, but you will try your best to watch your pace. It may even be a little ice-breaker for you and your interviewer.
Be proud but humble…
When you discuss achievements or things you are passionate about, it often comes across in your tone. Having a cheery and upbeat tone throughout the interview is preferred and will give your possible future boss a great impression.
If the hiring manager offers information about the company or talks about the job prospects, be sure to sound enthusiastic and interested.
Notice the Behavior and Demeanor of the Interviewer
This may seem a little strange but stick with it. If your hiring manager is full of energy and enthusiastic, matching their energy is a great way to keep the interview flowing. However, if they are serious from the get-go, you can tone down the enthusiasm but still stick with a positive attitude.
Studies have shown that mirroring and matching body language occurs when two people build a rapport. So don’t worry too much about over-thinking this; it may also happen naturally!
If you have experienced a similar role to the one you are applying for, it’s a great idea to note your past achievements. When discussing a situation or answering a question, you can use some of your previously prepared story-telling techniques!
Think about it if there are four potential candidates for a role. Everyone is listing similar skills and experience, but if you gift your interviewer with an exciting story about your achievements and how you got there, they will likely remember you as; the one who did the…
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can ask simple questions about the role, but why not take it a bit further? Ask your interviewer some personal questions. It’s a different way to build rapport and be memorable.
- What do you like about the company?
- What is your favorite memory from working here?
- What are the best things about working here?
End on a High
At the final stage of your interview, make sure to summarize everything you want your potential employer to know about you. Finish the interview with confidence, a smile, and a firm handshake.
Before leaving the office, make sure to thank them for their time, and you can even leave a handwritten thank you note on your business card. Doing this will showcase your confidence!
Still Not Feeling Confident Quite Yet?
Firstly, I’ve put together a selection of insightful interview guides such as my Why Do You Want To Work Here, Answering Tell Me About Yourself In Interview, What Are Your Career Goals, and How Do You Handle Stress, or perhaps you’d like to know how to Answer Why Best Candidate Position, What Are You Most Proud Of, Why We Should Hire You, or How Do You Handle Conflict, as well as What Makes You Unique, How To Answer What Are You Passionate About, my Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews, and finally the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview to help you better prepare.
But they say you can never be too prepared, so we recommend also reading up on How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions, Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, or even Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent, Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, and the INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!: How to Ace the Interview, Sell Yourself & Get Your Dream Job all available online in 2023.
Tried and tested method…
Practice makes perfect and using the STAR METHOD INTERVIEW: Interview Journal: Designed for job seekers as a guide for interview prep and a tool for interview questions and answers during interviews for an interactive approach alongside The STAR Interview: How to Tell a Great Story, Nail the Interview and Land Your Dream Job guide books or The STAR Method Explained: Proven Technique to Succeed at Interview will help with that final preparation beforehand!
Lastly, the NURSING Behavioral Interview Questions & Answers: 50 Top Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers for Nurses + STAR INTERVIEW METHOD EXPLAINED is perfect if you’re applying for a position in nursing.
It never hurts to improve yourself, and what better way than with The Self Confidence Workbook, the Unstoppable Self Confidence, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, or what about The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt, and of course You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life to help boost your self-esteem and ace that interview!
Depending on the company you applied for, there may be some great tools online to help you with possible interview questions.
With the likes of Glassdoor, YouTube, and Indeed offering insights from previous employees, use this to your advantage. Look to see if there is anything that may relate to your role and practice some possible interview questions.
You want to stand out in your interview at the end of the day. Following these tips will not guarantee you the job but will help smash the interview!
All the very best with your interviews in the future!