Do you want to know how to stand out in a job interview? Here at Three Q Recruitment we are celebrating our 19th birthday so we know a thing or two about job interviews. You may feel relatively confident about the interview process, but if you are like most people and want a few extra tips on how to impress that interviewer, read ahead.
From Three Q’s experience, too many job seekers make the interview process more complicated than need be, thinking they need to do something special to stand out. In reality, you want to focus on the simple over the extraordinary. If you really want to impress, you just need to nail your basic interview etiquette and typical interview questions. You want to treat the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation- relate to the other person, develop a connection and have a back-and-forth dialogue. Here are some easy tips to stand out in your next job interview:
Start your interview the second you leave the house.
The interview starts the moment that you leave your house. When you check in at reception, your demeanor with the person at the desk is often reported back to the interviewer, even cleaners will be asked how you treat them. Kindness and being polite is what employers want most from their employees. If you’re ready with the name of your interviewer and time of your meeting, you appear organized. If you sit with good posture in the lounge area, you exude poise. Start your interview behavior as soon as you enter the building.
Be Excited From The Start
An important part of your interview demeanor is your level of enthusiasm. A recruiter will be empathetic if you are nervous- it’s only natural. But they will also always be impressed by the candidate that they don’t have to care of. A candidate that is comfortable in a meeting and seems excited to be there is always impressive. Many candidates will be qualified – you want to be qualified and excited for the job.
Be put together from the start.
As you walk from Reception to the interview room, are you grasping for your coat, your bag, your phone, your portfolio, your water, and all with one hand so you keep the other free for a hand shake? As a candidate, you don’t want to look overwhelmed or clumsy at the outset. You know your interviewer is going to come out and call for you. So many candidates are taken by surprise when the time comes and then flail around for all their things. Hang your coat, and put as much as you can in your bag so you only have one item to carry- it’s a small touch but it makes you look fair more poised and prepared.
Minimize Nervous Habits
When you begin your interview, ground yourself with your feet planted on the floor and your hands on your lap or on the desk. If you tend to shake your knee up and down, cross your legs. You probably know what your nervous habits are, so seat yourself in a way that minimizes these behaviors- you may be nervous on the inside, but try to not let it show!
Prepare Your Introduction
You know the interviewer will ask you about yourself so set your introduction in advance. Focus on the most relevant skills and experiences related to this job. If you have multiple jobs, you don’t want to bury your interviewer in unrelated details – pick out what they specifically should know for the job that you are applying for. The same can be said for stories and anecdotes- you should prepare these in advance. Bring a notebook to take notes during the interview in case you learn something new about the job. In this notebook you can also leave a few pointers to yourself so that you don’t forget key points that you want to talk about.
Have Questions To Ask
The interview is a two-way exchange and interviewers leave time for questions. An interviewer will use the questions you ask as an indication of your interest in and knowledge of the role. If you have no questions, you’re not interested or you didn’t bother to research the company or role. You can read our blog on what to ask the interviewer here.
Finally, don’t forget to smile throughout your interview. You might be skeptical, but it will really help to relax you and the interviewer. It also helps you appear friendlier and develop a connection so that the interviewer feels like they know you better afterwards. If you can even just remember to smile at the opening hand shake, smile at the first question and smile at the close, then you have built in at least three smiles for your interview- which could be a lot more than someone who is nervous and not thinking about it.
Remember that the interviewer wants you to do well –when an opening is filled it means less work in recruiting for them. The interviewer is on your side- they want to employ you- so you just need to show them why they should. You can also relax knowing that a good interview is a few simple steps and well within the reach of any job seeker willing to do a bit of preparation. Still looking for an interview? Take a look at our listings here which we update every day.