How to stand out in the interview process

Navigating the interview process can be a daunting experience, but with the right strategies, you can distinguish yourself from other candidates and leave a lasting first impression. Before we jump into some key tips to help you stand out during the interview process, here are a few points to be mindful of when it comes to securing and preparing for the interview:
  • Ensure that you are flexible with your availability. If you really want the job, it is far more beneficial to provide as many dates and times as possible to the interviewer, even if this means needing to book time off at your current place of work. This demonstrates eagerness, enthusiasm,buy-in, and respect for the interview panel and their time. It will show them you’re serious about this opportunity, and that can be really valuable.
  • Setting off to the interview (be it in person or virtual) is technically the start of the interview. Get yourself into the right mind frame by projecting positive thoughts, a confident and smiley persona as well as a professional air about yourself is the first step to standing out in the interview process.
  • Dressing appropriately is another big win for standing out. If you have not been informed of the dress code, go with the safe bet and dress smartly! While suits aren’t always required, a smart outfit can go a long way to demonstrating professionalism, commitment,  and confidence.
  • Arriving 10-15 minutes early not only allows you to calm any nerves, use the restroom or have a sip of water, but it also allows you to take in your surroundings, speak to any staff and show your punctuality and enthusiasm to the interviewer. If you’re more than 10-15 minutes early, don’t go straight in - walk around the block a few times so you don’t arrive before you’re expected.
Here are some key tips to help you stand out during the interview and secure that dream job offer!

1. Research
Knowing the company’s mission, values, culture products/services and achievements will demonstrate your genuine interest in the company. It will also help you to tailor your responses to align with the company’s goals and culture which will impress any interviewer. Check out our article about how to answer common interview questions: 'Why do you want to work for this company?’

2. Prepare your examples
The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a great way to work through competency-based questions which will certainly crop up in all interviews. The STAR method will help structure your responses based on your experiences to really showcase your skills and accomplishments. Focus on highlighting skills mentioned in the job description and practice articulating your examples clearly and concisely.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Interviews are a two-way street. Asking questions to help you decide whether or not you will fit in and enjoy working at the company is crucial - after all, you are trying to secure your dream job! Preparing questions ahead of time on the role/expectations, the team, future growth opportunities and learning and development will signal to the interviewer that you are genuinely excited about the opportunity, should it fit in with your wants and needs. Questions to avoid during a first interview are those centred around salary and benefits. These should be saved until later on in the hiring process. 
4. Highlight your uniqueness

Identifying what sets you apart from other candidates during the interview is important as you highlight that you are THE ideal candidate for the role. Use your strengths and illustrate how they relate to the job - this could be a unique skill, personal trait or particular experience. Be sure to communicate this clearly and have examples to back up these qualities which will benefit the company.

Standing out in the interview process is about conveying your buy-in, being prepared, showing your unique value, and communicating effectively. By researching the company, preparing your answers, asking good questions, and highlighting what makes you special, you can significantly enhance your chances of landing the job. 

Remember, the goal is not just to impress your potential employer but also to determine if the role and company are the right fit for you.

Best of luck!

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Posted by: AJ Fox Compliance