Stand Out in that Interview!

To be irreplaceable, one must always be different; the sentiment of this quote is one that you have to embody at your next job interview.  Interviewers typically invite hordes of people to interviews for any position, it is therefore imperative that you make sure that you stand out in some way (preferably for good reasons) and if your resume isn’t so remarkable, here are some tips that will help your interview be memorable to your interviewers.


Know more about the company than anyone else

The first question you need to ask yourself when you’ve been invited for an interview, is what you know about the company. At some point in the interview, you will be asked what you know about the business —if you can’t answer that question, it makes you look like someone that doesn’t care too much about the opportunity.  Go into the interview knowing their mission statement, understanding the company’s target market, and knowing more about the history of the business than anyone else. Research can be easily conducted via the company’s website, trade publications, and by asking current employees (if you know any).  Being prepared and being someone that can show you are prepared provides the interviewer with the impression you are interested in the potential job, took the time to plan ahead, and care about the outcome.


Turn the interview into a conversation

We tend to think of interviews like a press conference or a question and answer session. Stop thinking of an interview as a series of questions you have to answer correctly to “pass”, this gives the feeling that the interview is a test. Think of the interview as more of a conversation with your boss. To aid this, come to the interview armed with a good question, for example if they ask

“why did you apply here” you can say,

“I’m interested in virtual reality, and marketing is what I do best, so when I saw a virtual reality company like yours needed a Marketer, it was a no-brainer for me to apply.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity. One thing I noticed when reading about your company is that you seem to take a different approach to marketing than most of your competitors, can you share why that is?”.

You can also find other ways to work in your questions asides from the typical “Do you have any questions” question that the interviewer asks, you can ask about current projects the company working, the challenges they are facing, work in an appropriate joke or a personal experience into the conversation and before you know it, the interview starts to feels like a regular chat between colleagues.


Deflect trick questions

Interviewers like to ask questions that back interviewees into a corner, when the interviewer invariably asks “You had a boss from hell didn’t you”, what do you do?  You can’t exactly answer yes and saying no might not exactly be the honest response, its best to be diplomatic and deflect those kinds of questions.  You could respond with not everyone is meant to have great bosses, but that you’ve learned techniques to work well with all kinds of challenging personalities.

Interviewers also like to ask you what your negative traits are? Some advisers recommend you use your hyperactivity or your impatience to your advantage, saying it helps get things done. Although it sounds like solid advice, it still sounds forced. Why not move the conversation forward, saying “I really can’t think of anything offhand.  Can I get back to you on it?” Maybe what they’re really looking for is to see if you’ll falter. If you come up with a quick answer and a sincere smile, then maybe you gave them the answer.


Focus on personal branding.

One of my favorite quotes by American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  Several people tend to project personalities that they feel the company would like to hire.  They often find themselves not being themselves during interviews and put up an interview persona and end up faltering during the interviews.  It is always best to be you during interviews because that’s what you’re most comfortable with and you can’t put a premium on being comfortable during interviews.  I am not saying you let go of professional norms, I do encourage you to bring your authentic self to the job search process. Being you also helps you highlight your passions and interest, you should also share your areas of improvement (and not just fake ones that you spice up for interviews). Your honesty will be a breath of fresh air for the interviewer.

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