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3 Tips to Stand Out in an Interview!

by Melissa Zettel

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to a job interview. You need to stand out as the one candidate the employer is looking for.

Standing out in an interview is a form of sales – in this case, you are both the salesperson and the product. To make a convincing pitch to the consumer (the interviewer) you need to show them that you believe in the product (yourself). You have to convince the employer that you have the skills and experience they need, want the position and are the best fit for it. When you are finished, you are hoping the employer will be ready to make you that job offer.So how do you make the sale?

Dress to impress and follow these 3 tips to make sure you stand out in your interview:

Research the company. Nothing is more impressive than a candidate who knows a few things about the company. Beyond who they are and what they do, learn about their mission and values. Find out how the company sets itself apart from others and what makes it an industry leader. Think about how your skills, passion and values relate to the things you have learned so you can address these in your interview.

Have your own interview questions. Preparing three or four thoughtful questions to ask at the end of the interview demonstrates that you are interested in the position and eager to learn more. Some examples include “what do you see as the ideal candidate for this position?” and “how will you measure success in this position?” Remember, an interview is more than your opportunity for you to showcase your skills and qualifications; it is also your opportunity to assess the employer and company to determine if you are a good fit and want to work there.

Follow-up with a thank you note. Before the interview ends, ask the interviewer(s) for their business card(s) so you can send a well written thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. If you send it by email, be sure to include your name and write “Thank You” in the subject line. In your note, thank the employer for their time, reiterate why you are the best candidate for the position and mention that you are looking forward to hearing from them regarding the next steps of the hiring process.

Above all, throughout any interview process, remember to be yourself. Often the most convincing sales pitch is also the one that is the most sincere! If you need help preparing for your next interview, drop by one of our three employment services offices for free job search assistance.