12 tips to stand out at an interview
Posted by Tilt Recruitment on June 17, 2022
Verbal communication is the top skill employers value in recent grads, according to a new study. In fact, regardless of your level of work experience, it’s your communication skills that will make or break your interview. Here are 12 ways to ensure you make it.
- Show your excitement about the role
Employers want to hire someone who wants the job, so show enthusiasm at interview. Oddly enough, candidates don’t always realise that they’re coming off as less than excited about the role. Hiring managers often say to recruiters, “I like this candidate, but they didn’t really seem excited about the position”… and then give it to someone else.
- Skip the generic responses
Don’t be basic when it comes to answering questions. Perfectionism isn’t really your greatest weakness, is it? Take the time to gather your thoughts and give your own unique point of view rather than blurting out the first platitude that comes to mind. The interviewer will appreciate it.
- Don’t make the interviewer dig for answers
Try to work out what the interviewer is looking for with their questions and answer accordingly. Don’t just say, “I have great organisational skills,” but give examples of how you organise priorities and how your organisational skills have added value for your employer.
- Use humour
Everyone responds well to humour. It makes you relatable. Keep it appropriate, but don’t be afraid to give your interviewer a chuckle if the opportunity arises.
- Show flexibility
While it’s great to have goals and ambitions, don’t come across as rigid. Demonstrate that you’re flexible and open to new opportunities and directions.
- Control the conversation about your experience
It’s easy to go rambling off on tangents when talking about work experience. Brush up on your work history before your interview so you can talk about any aspect of it easily and in precise terms, and turn it to your advantage when necessary.
- Quantify your value
Show the interview you can get quantifiable results by giving numbers: pounds saved or earned for an organisation, time saved, or any other countable success you’ve achieved.
- Show you can take initiative
Have a story or two ready about times when you’ve taken the initiative at work (or at school, if you’re looking for your first job). Demonstrate that you’re a self-starter who goes above and beyond. Even at the most junior levels, employers are looking for future leadership potential.
- Show ambition… but not too much
Demonstrate that you’re growth-oriented by talking about how you’d like to grow in your role for your own betterment and to add to your own skillset, not about your desire for promotion. The interviewer will assume you want to be promoted, so there’s no need to spell it out. Focus on your desire to gain skills and experience.
- Be genuine and comfortable in your skin
While it may be easier said than done, try to be yourself and come off as authentic. It will help you build a rapport with your interviewer.
- Keep the conversation fluid
Make the interview more enjoyable for your interviewer by asking them questions and creating a back-and-forth dialogue. In a panel interview, talk to everyone in the panel, not just the leader or hiring manager. Remember, people tend to remember a great listener as a great conversationalist.
- Say thank you
Follow up after the interview with a polite, well-crafted thank-you email. Make sure you personalise it, bring up a point on which you and your interviewer connected, and keep it short!