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Two Simple Interview Tips to Set You Apart

Scott Fiore, TriStarr Staffing

There are two areas that you can focus on in an interview to help set you apart from the pack, and increase your chances of landing a job in these difficult times. The candidate pool is growing every day, and it’s now more important that ever that once you land an interview that you make a strong impression. Two areas to focus on are confidence and preparedness.

Confidence. Hiring managers are looking for strong people to come in and get the job done. The confidence you project here is key. First, are you nervous? Sure!! Tell me that. Get the elephant in the room out on the table. “Hey, I am really excited about the opportunity to work for your organization, and you know, I’m a little nervous.” You’ve just broken the ice, people naturally want to help, or rescue others in these instances. Once that’s off the table, you can move on. Make sure you’re well dressed (see a previous post), well groomed, and not disheveled. A well dressed, well groomed person exudes confidence (even if they are quite nervous). Make eye contact throughout the conversation. Confident people make eye contact. Now – that said don’t make this a stare down contest. As my teenagers say, you don’t want to be a creeper.

Preparedness. Be prepared. The scout moto. Well, it works. For goodness sake do your research. It’s too easy these days. In many cases if you don’t, consider yourself sunk. Other candidates will, and you’ll be remembered for not being prepared, or serious enough to do the research. Have questions written down and ask them. Ask about the responsibilities, performance expectations, culture, etc. Save the salary and benefit questions for later interviews or the offer. If you’ve done your research, you know whether the salary and benefits are what you’re looking for. And for goodness sake – don’t ask about vacations in the first interview. You haven’t even started, and you’re looking for time off? Anticipate questions that you’ll be asked and practice your answers. Ask a friend, or colleague to to a practice interview with you. Professional athletes practice all the time for a reason. Research the interviewer. Google her, look him up on LinkedIn or Facebook. Get to know as much as you can about them. Use this information when you are answering questions.

Being prepared and exuding confidence are key areas to help set you apart during the interview process. Focus on these areas and your chances of success will increase.

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