Hey, you’re next.
There comes that voice, the moment you have been waiting for. You have invested countless hours in this interview, aren’t you? Been prepping for hours, days, and months in front of the mirror, pretending that the interviewer is right in front of you, and judging the way you talk and sit until you get everything right.
But once you walk through that door, this nervousness starts to kick in. You might remember the things you have practiced and you maybe pull yourself together. Even better, you’ve answered all the questions that were asked and you come out that door with a smile, thinking that you aced the interview.
But guess what? So does the person before you. All the other candidates did the same thing as you. To not leave it as a chance, you gotta know how to stand out in an interview from the rest of the candidates in an interview. Let me tell you how?
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What does standing out in an interview mean?
Let me give you an example to understand ” standing out ” even better.
Have you heard of the name “Lionel Messi“.I’m pretty sure you have at some point even if you are not into football. He played for Spanish club FC Barcelona for almost two decades. Many call him the greatest of all time and he is, in my opinion, too. Last year, due to financial troubles at the club, he needed to move. He chose a Ligue 1 club called Paris Saint Germain, which is based in France.
Things didn’t go well for him, and he had a bad season. Lots of things were said in the media and even booed by his fans too. But if you forget the name “Lionel Messi” and consider him as an average newbie footballer, it is considered a great season. But why? Because Messi set his standards so high in his previous seasons, they would consider even a dip below the line a failure.
It is like that in an interview too. A person might set a high standard through their skills, knowledge, or even being confident and bold and all the other candidates were judged based on that person whether they can cross that line set by that person and go above them. That’s what standing out means, and I am here to help you with that.
How to stand out in an interview?
Here we give you some suggestions on how to stand out from the rest of the candidates in an interview.
Researching the company
If we are talking about how to stand out in an interview, the first thing people say is, ” Research the company”. Get to know about the company’s foundation, values, projects, awards, and all the other things you could find. Yes, it is good to know about these things, but it’s never enough. Because everybody knows these things already cause they are the ones putting them out online and so does the other candidate.
If you want to stand out from the rest of the candidates, you have to make some extra effort. I suggest you take things to the personnel level. Do some background checks about the company. Most companies have some personal reason for the foundation of the company. They started the company out of passion. Maybe some events that occurred in their lives have led them to start the company or they may be focused on helping people.
Even if the company is inherited from their great grandfather, there must always be a reason. Find out what it is and use it. If it’s solely about the money, don’t mention it directly, but use it to your advantage. Show them how you will help to increase their profits.
Have a chat with the company’s workers and clients to gain some inside knowledge about the company, like their projects and the way they do business. Any idea would be helpful to stand out from the rest.
As I explained earlier, never leave it as a chance. Don’t make them think, ” Ahh, Can he do it? Can he handle the projects? He’s qualified but… I don’t know. Should we give him a chance?”
If you wanna stand out, trust me, you don’t want to put them in this position. You need to gain their confidence and trust that you are capable of the job. Your degree or certification is not always enough.
Do some sample projects or training regarding the line of work done by the company. Add it to your resume and explain it to them in your interview. That way, you can eliminate all the doubts from their minds.
Access what kind of candidate they want
It’s a bit of a tricky one to find out because they are not going to tell you blatantly what type of candidate they are looking for. Different kinds of companies need different kinds of candidates. Some companies need hard-working candidates, some need technical and creative ones and others might need loyal ones.
So how to find this out? One way might be to approach some of the workers in the company and ask them about it. Another way is to analyze the questions. You need to focus on the questions. What type of questions are they frequently asking? Are they testing my knowledge, flexibility, creativity, or loyalty?
Yes, I agree it may be tough to analyze and come to a conclusion in a short period about what type of candidate they were looking for but if they ever ask you at the end of the interview “Any final words” or give you a second interview, you can use that information you have gathered and give them what they want.
“Have you got any questions for us?” the interviewer asks at the end of the interview and most people think that “Questions for them? Wouldn’t that make me look arrogant? they are testing me..better say no” and there goes that window of opportunity that will make you stand out from the rest.
Asking questions makes you look confident if you ask the right questions. Also, you can subtly add the things that you know in the questions like the company’s personnel things, and sample projects you have done if you never had the chance to let them know in the interview.
Let’s say you ask, ” What kind of skills are you expecting from a person for this role?” It shows that you are willing to learn, and that’s a good thing, even if the interview didn’t go your way. Maybe you can ask about the company’s plans for the future. It will show that you are here for the long term.
If you want to know more about this, here’s an article that will help you a lot – Unique interview questions to ask an employer.
Other basic things to sort out before the interview
Even before the interviewers see you, they have set some kind of expectation of what the candidate has to be like. From your looks, dressing style, and communication to qualities. They have set a standard that you need to fill straightaway. It doesn’t help you stand out from the rest, but it helps you set your standard from the ground level.
It’s okay to have a couple of expectations from the interviewer’s already set basic standards. But if you don’t meet most of them, you may lose some points and go down below the ground level. By the time you reach your ground level, the interview might be over and you have failed to set the standards that you potentially have.
These are some of the basic things you need to fulfill before you focus on how to stand out from the rest of the crowd in an interview.
- Dress accordingly
- Watch your body language
- Always make eye contact
- Be prepared for the ” Introduce yourself ” question.
- Be respectful, kind, and mindful while you are talking
- Don’t make them repeat the questions. Listen carefully to what they are asking?
- Let the interviewer finish. Don’t interrupt.
- Be honest with your answers.
- Give them a thank you note or email after the interview.
I wish you have learned how to stand out in an interview through the few suggestions mentioned above. Make sure to use them in your next interview and tell us about the results in the comments. I hope that you will land your dream job. Have a good interview.
Negativity about previous jobs
It’s on my resume
Any discussion about vacation and raise
I’ll do whatever you give me the chance
Avoid unprofessional words
Yeah, um, Err, oh – Never say these types of things
It’s kind of a gray area whether you should tell the interviewer you are nervous or not. The interviewer knows you are nervous, yet it may portray you as a less confident person. It entirely depends on the interviewer. My advice would be as long as they don’t ask, don’t tell them. If they ask that you are nervous, just say you are more excited than nervous.
It’s normal to feel nervous before or during an interview because of the uncertainty of what might happen. So I suggest whenever you feel nervous, remember to take the interview as a challenge. Also, preparing for the worst and accessing every possible scenario and question beforehand would help calm the nerves.