Interview: How to Stand Out from the Competition

job interview

With an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent for the month of September, the job market is blazing hot. as a candidate, you have options (and lots of them)! And even if you are happily employed, it’s hard not to be curious about what’s out there in today’s job market.

If you find yourself applying for a job and securing a job interview, here’s what you need to do to nail it and lock down that you’ve been working to achieve.

Do your research

Hopefully, you did some research before you submitted your application, so you can tailor your resume to the position. However, if you didn’t, now is the time to sit down and spend a few minutes doing some due diligence.

Get on Google and do some quick searches on the company and the hiring manager. Be sure to check out their website and social media. Both are a great resource for looking up awards, recent press releases or product launches, and community involvement. All of these are great talking points during an interview and will demonstrate to the hiring manager that you did your homework.

Dress to impress

This cheesy motto is true. If you are not dressed appropriately for your interview, it will definitely leave the wrong impression. Now, I am not saying you need to wear a suit and a tie, but you must dress appropriately for the organization and position you’re are applying for.

For example, if it’s an office job, business casual is probably the way to go. If you are underdressed for the occasion, you will quickly find yourself at the bottom of the list of candidates.

Good body language

Body language is key. If you are sitting in your chair slouching with your arms resting on the table, you’ll have a hard time impressing the hiring manager. If your body language doesn’t illustrate your excitement, it will give the wrong impression. So, sit up straight, throw on your best smile, and make great eye contact. By being more engaging throughout your interview, it will do wonders.

Ask thought-provoking questions

This is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you come prepared with a couple of thought-provoking questions, it will leave a lasting impression on the interviewers. This is where your research can come into play. If you fail to ask a serious question, it may appear that you’re not all that interested in the position.

By asking good questions, it illustrates to the interviewers that you are taking this opportunity seriously and that you truly want the job. This is where you’ll get the hiring manager excited about you as a candidate and make them want to extend an offer to you.

Write a killer thank you

This is key. If you don’t write a fantastic thank you note, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you had an outstanding interview, if you don’t write a thoughtful thank you note, you may ruin your chances of getting a callback.

I always recommend jotting down some notes during your interview, so you can:

  1. Remember everyone you are interviewing with. This is pertinent in a panel interview when there is an entire group of people you’re meeting with.
  2. Write down some interesting things you talked about throughout the interview.

It’s always good to try and send a thank you to everyone you met within your interview. It’s essential to customize your thank you message for each person. If you wrote down some notes during your interview, this should be easy. And remember, the sooner the better! But don’t wait until the next day to send it. Chances are, they have more interviewers lined up after you. You want to stay at the top of their list, and a thoughtful thank you note will definitely help!

It’s a crazy job market and competition is heating up. Follow these five steps and you will definitely make a lasting impression and land that dream job! Good luck!