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Making Your Interview Stand Out

Updated on June 6, 2011

The Basics

 At some time in our lives, we will all have to interview for something. Whether it's a new job, and new position in the company we work for already, applying to college, or any other kind of interview, there will be a point when you find yourself trying to impress someone who holds your future in their hands. You've been told many times to cover any tattoos, dress appropriately, speak clearly, and so on and so forth. But what else can you do to make sure you leave a (good) impression on your interviewer? With so many out of work these days, and so many with degrees, you have to have a few other tricks up your sleeve to land that job.

Tips for Standing Out

 1. What should you wear? Depending on the type of job you are going for, there are several choices in the correct outfit. For instance, if you are going to interview for a construction job, or other outdoor, manual labor type job, you wouldn't really need to wear a three-piece suit. if you were applying for management, you may want to wear something a little nicer than a polo. The bottom line is, dress in something clean, that fits properly, and that is appropriate for the job/job-level you are interviewing for.

2. Resume- Include a paragraph that tells why you are good for the specific job you are interviewing for. The templates you find online are nice, but they are common and generic. If there is a skill you possess because of an earlier job that would benefit this position as well, mention it! Extracurricular activites could prove useful also. For instance, the job I have now requires that I speak in front of large groups. In high school, I was on a team that presented mock court cases. I had to speak to lawyers and judges, as well as my peers for that activity. This is something that shows I am comfortable with the job requirement, even though it wasn't a previous job I held.

3. Pen and Paper. I mean it. Have a notepad and something to write with, and take notes! This shows interest in what the interviewer is saying. It also shows your interest in the job itself. You can show organization skills, show that you are detail-oriented, etc, just by jotting down some important information the interviewer gives you. Trust me, they notice this kind of thing.

4. Ask Questions. While you should know the basic concept of the job you are applying for, it's good to have a list of questions you would like the answer to also. And I don't just mean "How much will you pay me?" Asking specific questions about job duties, functions, the goal of the team or company, if you will be working alone or on a team, etc, shows you put actual thought into the position, and that you are making sure the job is right for you, as well as the employer seeing if you are right for the job. It shows you didnt find the ad in the paper, and make a list of 30 random jobs you could try.

5. Willingness to learn. If you have a degree, have you thought about getting a higher one, such as a Masters? If you don't have a degree, are you wanting to go back? Even if you started college, but never finished, it's not a bad idea to let them know your desire to complete that degree. Many employers like the idea of someone who wants to learn more, even if they already have a degree. If you are complacent where you are in life, employers could see this as a sign you won't flourish in the company and won't push the profits any higher than they already are either.

Bottom Line

 I can't promise that if you do all these things you will definitely get the job. There's no magic potion or genie that can't just wiggle it's nose and give you the job you want. But, with these tips, you can help give yourself a little extra edge, and that could be what you needed to land the job!! Also, if you don't get the job, or if you want to contact past interviewers, it won't hurt to ask them to give you feedback. Ask them what you can work on for the enxt interview, if there was a specific reason you weren't hired, etc. Good luck and happy hunting to everyone!


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    • profile image

      Megan's Thoughts 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Some very useful tips - the note pad and paper tip is one I would have never thought of - I'm giving you a vote-up and a useful.