You see this goldfish? A successful interview candidate will have more in common with him than they think. The job market is a competitive place and job hunters need to do what they can to ensure they make a good first impression, and leave an even better one. Here are CV-Library’s Top 5 Ways to stand our from the crowd at an interview.
Build a brand
You may think that making a first impression would be the first thing you’d need to consider; however on this occasion you’d be wrong! Establishing your personal brand before entering the interview room is essential in order to stand out from the crowd. Make sure your CV and any written communication follow suit, in the same style and format, and that all of your social media accounts represent you accurately and have the same up to date information. If you can, use the same photo for every touch point your would-be employer may potentially find. Make sure to conduct an online search for your own name well before you apply for any jobs, so you can weed out any undesirable information which you wouldn’t want to come to light.
Top tip: If you’ve seen the film Legally Blonde you will be familiar with Elle’s trick of scenting her resume with perfume. We’re not suggesting you do the same, but aiming to create a stand-0ut brand is always good!
Make a winning first impression
Now it’s time to consider that first impression! A great interviewee will have done their research on their interviewers before meeting them. So, you should have a broad idea about who you’ll be meeting – enough to recognise them by sight. Whilst waiting for their arrival, look out for familiar faces and stand to shake the hand of anyone who comes up to greet you. Smile confidently, and repeat the name of anyone you meet if it’s likely you’ll have problems remembering.
Top tip: The ‘get up, gather your stuff, say hello and shake hands’ manoeuvre has the potential to go very wrong, especially if you’re in a particularly low chair, there’s other furniture in the way, you’re carrying too much stuff, or your skirt has the tendency to ride up when you sit down! Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes which don’t ride up or pull, and if you’re taking documents – keep them all in one folder for convenience. Ladies – don’t take too big of a handbag!
Read the room
Once you’re in the meeting, you should be able to get a reading of the atmosphere and your interviewers personalities fairly quickly. Keep your body language and communication in line with how they behave. If they’re quite reserved, then there’s no harm in showing enthusiasm, but don’t be overly loud. If they’re excitable and cracking jokes, then show them how much fun you can be! If you’re able to respond to and mirror their mood, it is more likely you will make a successful connection.
Top tip: To get an early indication of the type of atmosphere you may have to deal with, speak with a HR contact or recruiter in order to understand your interviewers a little better. Watch the company recruitment video if there is one, as this will often mirror the ‘personality’ of the company.
Imagine it’s yours already
Act as though the job is yours, and you never know – it might improve your performance! Interviewers love candidates who ask questions, so imagine you’ve been given the role there and then – what would you want to ask before turning up for your first day?
Top tip: Phrase your questions in this way, “What would my duties be?”, “Where would I be sitting?”, “Who would I be working with on a daily basis?”
Yes, that’s right – and no, we don’t mean a nice hamper of M&S goodies! Leave your interviewers with hard copies of your CV and portfolio, if relevant. If you’ve already gathered your testimonials, why not print a couple out, too? It’s a lot more likely a hiring manager will follow up with a re-read of your CV if they’ve got a paper copy in their hand! If you’re after a tech role – some candidates choose to host all relevant information on a personalised, easy to remember URL.
Top tip: Hiring managers usually look for organised, meticulous individuals for their business. Endeavour to leave them with documents which look nice, are well-presented, and personalised for the interview. It’s little details like this which could mean all the difference.
There you have it, CV-Library’s top tips for standing out from the crowd at interview stage. Find your next role here – good luck!