Ten Tips to Help You Stand Out in Interviews

Ten Tips to Help You Stand Out in Interviews

Tip 1 – Build Rapport

Tip 2 – Build Rapport

Tip 3 – Build Rapport

The person(s) conducting the interview are subconsciously and consciously asking themselves one question  “Can I work with this person”?

If you don’t build rapport with the interviewer(s) at the start of the meeting it will be a struggle for them to feel comfortable that they can work with you. Building Rapport is really the process of having a natural conversation or discussion.

Although an interview is not a normal social situation, the more you are able to converse in a relaxed manner with the interviewer the better chance you have of being successful.

It is going to be very hard to convince someone to hire you if they don’t feel they can have a conversation with you.

Remember, interviews should be a 2-way discussion, this starts with building rapport at the start of the meeting.

Tips for Building Rapport

  • Always have your interests/hobbies on your CV, (preferably on page 1 where they can be seen) they provide the interviewer the avenue to break the ice
    Eg sports interests, club memberships, hobbies
  • If you have researched the interviewers background you may find you know common connections or follow the same football team
  • If all else fails comment on the weather.

The objective is to develop the level of rapport you would like to have a week after you’ve started the job.

Tip 4 – Maintain eye contact at least 50% of the time

Good eye contact sends the message you are comfortable and confident. Be careful not to stare.  Practice eye contact so that it comes naturally

Tip 5 – Dress one or two levels higher than the role requires

The way you present yourself will strongly influence the decision to hire you. Dress at a level that shows you understand the importance of the situation and respect the person you are meeting. This means dressing more formally than you would on the job.

Tip 6 – Do your research

Differentiate yourself from other applicants by showing you know such details as the what the company does (ie does it manufacture? if so what), revenue of the company, how many employees, ownership structure, locations the business operates from, recent product releases, current industry challenges.

Tip 7 – Practice a personal Two-Minute Summary

In many interviews, you may be asked to tell the interviewer about your career. Practice a summary that is essentially a verbal cv that captures the listener’s interest and brings him or her up date on your background in a clear and concise manner.

The summary should address what you have done in your career to date. If possible link parts of your experience to the role requirements.

Tip 8 – Ask good questions

Demonstrate you have done your research and that you are really listening to the interviewer. You can do this by asking relevant questions about the company and the role.

If you can ask one or two questions that make the interviewer think about the answer, or maybe cover issues they hadn’t thought of, you will stand out.

Asking questions to determine concerns the interviewer has will give you a chance to discuss these in more detail and maybe even turn around their opinion on your shortfalls.

The question might go something like this:  “Do you have any concerns that I may not have the required experience experience in some areas?”

Tip 9 – Share the love

If there is more than one interviewer make sure you acknowledge and direct your attention and eye contact to all people in the room in equal amounts. Looking toward the more senior person for the majority of the time can be a major mistake, as the other persons opinion may be regarded very highly by the more senior person. If they feel you ignored them that will be the end of your application.

Male candidates often make the mistake of directing their answer to the male(s) on the interview panel, this is usually a fatal mistake.

Tip 10 – Come prepared and look prepared

You will look professional and organised if you come to the interview with;

  • a copy of the Positions Description, and any briefing notes given to you by the company or the recruiter.
  • your questions prepared and written out, so you can refer to these when you have the opportunity (even the most senior candidates are not expected to memorise all the information relevant to the role in addition to the questions they want to ask)
  • a notepad to take notes of points of interest or questions you think of during the interview.

Bringing the above documents in a professional slimline compendium will reinforce the impression that you are professional and organized.