Congratulations, you’ve scored the interview! But now what? You’re going to do your homework to research the company, practice your elevator pitch, and pick up your suit from the dry cleaner’s… Exactly like your competition.
Getting an interview is a huge hurdle to clear, and a wonderful sign that you’re on the right track with your job search efforts. Now it’s time to shift your focus to becoming a rock star candidate.
How To Be Interesting During Your Interview
Approach your interview with the expectation that your competition is equally well qualified. Having the skills and wanting it badly aren’t going to cut it in today’s market. You need to figure out specific ways to stand out and be interesting. Here are some strategies to do exactly that:
1. Get Your Interviewer Talking
We know that the more you make me talk, the more interesting I’ll think you are. Humans are funny like that. Use this knowledge to your advantage, and immediately engage all the people you meet in conversation – about them. Whether it’s the receptionist, the HR manager, or your future boss, ask people questions about themselves, and do as much as you can to draw them out. At the end of your interview, they’ll have a much more positive impression of you.
2. Be Prepared With Interesting Questions
Don’t ask the same old tired questions as every other candidate. You can combine this strategy with #1 and ask your interviewer about his experience at the company or perspective about a hot new product or service. You can also use this as an opportunity to flex your creative powers and ask questions that show you’ve not only done your homework, but that you went above and beyond to creating solutions.
3. Be Prepared With Interesting Answers
Most people will answer situational & behavioral questions with straightforward examples from their careers. Differentiate yourself by being prepared to share stories from other areas of your life that are equally impressive. Did you survive a solo ride on your motorcycle to the Arctic Circle? Create a hip-hop website that gets hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per month? Create a non-profit to save a historic building in your hometown? Share those tales in ways that highlight your problem solving skills, internal motivation, and unique style.
4. Show Off Your Style
Conventional wisdom says you should stick to neutral, conservative styles for your interview appearance. In general, it is best to go with classic suits and subtle accessories. But if you’re the type of person who normally has some artistic flair to your look, you don’t need to stifle it completely. Choose one or two ways to let that style shine through – a bright accessory, unique jewelry, or moderately funky hair. As long as you look professional, it’s okay to have an accent.
5. Use The Briefcase Technique
When preparing for your interview, create an overview of how you plan to tackle your first 30, 60, and 90 days on the new job. If you’ve done your research on the company and position, you’ll have sense of what kind of strategy you’d employ to start adding value right away. Write it down in a page or two, and pull it out (of your briefcase – hence the name) at the end of the interview to leave behind as a form of marketing collateral for product “you.”
6. Mind Your Body Language: Mirroring & Power Poses
Interviews are stressful, and it’s easy to get tense and physically awkward. Pay attention to your interviewer’s body language and do your best to mirror it. Mirroring tends to disarm people and make them feel more comfortable with you. To really impress them, use power poses immediately before your interview, in private, and avoid weak poses at all costs. Everyone’s subconscious will perceive you in a more flattering, confident light.
What have you done to be interesting in interviews? Are there techniques that you’ve found to be particularly successful? If so, share them below in the comments.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
Kim Eisenberg, MSW, has been helping people create rewarding career paths for the past 10+ years. She blends her expertise in corporate career services and organizational leadership to deliver business savvy, strengths-based coaching with an emphasis on transitioning fields or making the leap to entrepreneurship. Schedule a free consultation with Kim here.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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