When it comes to securing a job, often the most difficult and stressful stage is, of course, the interview. Employers tend to interview A LOT of candidates for a particular position, sometimes 20 or more people, so it is only natural that you feel some type of pressure and nervousness when it comes to sitting down and facing your potential new employers for the first time.
In order to stand out and be remembered, you need to separate yourself from the rest. A great way to do this is to be creative and HRS are here to help you be just that with our top 10 creative ways to stand out in an interview!
How to Stand Out in an Interview
Know Your Stuff
The first and most important creative tip on standing out in an interview is to know your stuff about the company you're interviewing for and more importantly, making sure you know more information than any other candidate. You need to go into the interview knowing the company's mission statement, understanding their target audience as well as their history. There's a pretty high probability that at some point during the interview, you will be asked what you know about the business and if you are left unable to answer that question, it makes you look like you someone who doesn't care too much about the opportunity that they are offering you.
You can conduct research easily enough through the company's website, trade publications and by asking any current employees that work for the business. Being prepared for this type of question leaves the impression that you are interested in the position, working for the company and that you took time to plan ahead.
Personal branding is another excellent way that you can ensure your interviewer will remember you. While your skills, knowledge and experience should be enough to set you apart, you should be encouraged to brand yourself with a signature trademark that will make you truly stand out from the rest.
You can do this in several ways such as mentioning your love and passion for coffee, sending handwritten 'thank you' cards once the interview is over or simply showing your authentic self. Now, we're not expecting you to have complete differently during your interview, but displaying genuine, human moments should make you stand out from those who are almost robot-like when it comes to answering questions.
Make a Candidate Summary
A candidate summary is an excellent way that you can leave your employers with a 'synopsis' of how relevant you are for the job. Before attending the interview, make note of all of your skills, experiences and strengths that are relevant to the role that you're applying for. This small document can then be left with the interview when you leave and shows them that you took extra time to prepare and think about the ways in which you fit both the role and the company.
This also gives you a small reminder of your core strengths and how they relate to the position you're going for.
Show Your Results
More often than not, interviewed candidates talk and answer questions too generally. This is not what an interviewer wants to hear. Instead, try your best to be results-orientated when talking about your past experiences or specific skills that you're likely to bring. Prepare yourself by learning exact facts and figures from previous roles that show the interviewer how effective you are and can be to them.
A good example is the ways in which you helped your previous company to save time and money, make more money or make your manager's life easier. The new hiring manager is definitely going to want to know how you can make their job easier, so this is a great thing to show.
This tip follows on from the previous one. If you are trying to really stand out in an interview, you should consider preparing detailed examples and measurable results that you can collate and put forward as a case study. Examples of one or two big projects that you were involved in and completed in your previous role in a great place to start. If you just graduated from university and are looking for your first position, demonstrate some of the projects or work placements that you completed.
Once you have the specifics, you can then create a 'before and after' showing how you made an improvement.
Bring a Plan
One of the best ways that you can demonstrate your eagerness for your new role is to come up with a plan on how you are going to perform. This plan should detail things such as how you will learn the position and get up to speed quickly, how you will use your skills and expertise to help your company reach its goals and how you can add value to your new team.
A great way to do this is to split your plan into 30, 60 and 90 days, explaining what goals you wish to accomplish in each specific timeframe. It's important to be realistic here but don't be afraid to be ambitious, you want to show your hiring manager that you plan on working hard when you start your new position.
Ask Different Questions
The majority of people know that you should ask questions in an interview, however, very few job seekers realise actually just how important asking questions are. Employers really do judge candidates heavily on the questions they do or do not ask. They're looking to hire someone who is being selective about the roles that they are applying for and knows what they truly want, not someone who is applying just for the sake of it. Asking a lot of amazing questions is an excellent way to show this.
Display Great Body Language
Showing off good body language during an interview is a common interview tip but one that is often forgotten whilst you're in the hot seat. Unfortunately, people tend to judge most visually before anything else, therefore, you need to ensure the interviewer's first impression of you is a good one! Once you've made that great first impression, it's important to carry it throughout the rest of the interview.
Ensure you are always sitting up straight and maintain good, strong eye contact whilst giving your answers. And don't forget to smile. Smiling shows the interviewer that you're a friendly, positive individual which is sure to leave a lasting impression once the process is over.
Send a 'Thank You' Email
Our final creative tip to stand out in an interview is to send a great thank you email after your interview. Here, you'll want to follow up and thank them for their time, reaffirm that you're interested in the position you interviewed for and let them know that you're keen to hear feedback on how you performed and information on what steps come next.
It's important to make sure you customise your email so they know that it's not just a copy and paste email that you send after every interview. Ensure you include a mention to a particular point you or the interviewer made during the interview
By following the above tips, you will be giving yourself the very best chance to stand out in any interview! You can find more interview help and advice by visiting our page below.
Interview Advice >
If you would like to get in touch with a member of the HRS team to learn more creative ways to stand out in an interview, please do not hesitate to contact us today!