Even if you’ve worked hard and done well enough to be considered a top candidate, you must remember there are still others you have to compete against who may have those same qualifications; nothing is a done deal until someone shakes your hand and says, “Congratulations.” So, what can you do to stand out above all the others?
- Show them you can do the job. Yes, your experience and your answers in an interview likely demonstrate ability beyond the usual candidate. But if they want you for something specific, give it to them. If you have an interview for an advertising agency, have a marketing campaign prepared — or at least be ready to outline what you’d do, having studied the company’s niche and its competitors. If you’re going for a sales job, pitching their product to one of the execs shows you know them inside and out. Do something a little extra that makes the interviewers see you as an asset to the company, someone they want on their team.
- Make them see you as a problem-solver. Remember the company has a problem that needs a solution; otherwise, they wouldn’t need to hire someone. When you look at it that way, you can turn that to your advantage. You can walk into the interview and tell them you understand they have a need (a new employee to fill Position X/lead a team/make necessary changes, etc.). You then present yourself as the solution to their problem, the person who can best meet their needs and help improve the company. Lay it out so instead of you asking them for a job, they’ll want to ask you to come work for them.
- Go beyond the interview. To show you truly want to be part of the organization, do some legwork before and after. See if you know anyone who works there or with whom you can make a connection and speak with them about the company and their needs. Then you can walk in and recount your conversation, steering it toward you and how you’d fit into the position. Look up information about the company and have thoughtful questions to ask at the end of the interview that demonstrate your desire to become a member of the team. And follow up afterward with your interviewers, perhaps sending them a helpful article you came across that reminded you of something you discussed.
The best way to make yourself stand out as a reserved candidate overall? Make them feel they want you as part of their team and they’ll miss out if they don’t snap you up. For more career advice, partner with the job search experts at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County.