How to Stand Out During Interviews
May 17, 2020
How to Stand Out During Interviews by Amanda Dodson
Amanda Dodson holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology and has had success organizing corporate/franchise internships. Amanda has placed, on-boarded, and trained university students to thrive in a fast pace franchising environment.
Interviews vary greatly. It’s important to be prepared!
🤓 Check out the following article on how to stand out in an interview by Harvard Business Review: https://hbrascend.org/topics/stand-out-in-your-interview/
✏️Notes for you:
- PREPARE: Find out everything you can about the company. Their history, mission, culture, values, specific role challenges, and future industry goals. Where do your strengths fit in? How can you help increase the bottom line?
- STRATEGIZE: Figure out the type of message you want to convey to the interviewer. How would you connect what you have been able to accomplish in the past to the success of this particular role? Be prepared with compelling stories of how you have made strides in the past that will be relevant to this company. If it helps, begin a Google Doc and list these out so they are fresh in your mind for the interview. It will benefit you to have these readily available during the interview so that you can reference multiple achievements (especially for situational interview questions).
- CONVEY POTENTIAL: Given the current pandemic, many job seekers will be looking outside of their familiar roles and industries. This does not mean you will not be a good fit for the role just because you may not have direct experience. How can you demonstrate your ability to quickly learn and adapt while applying past experience?
- THE FIRST 30 SECONDS: First impressions matter. Consider videotaping yourself rehearsing your first 30 seconds of an interview. Do you sound confident? Do you speak clearly and slowly? How do you enter the room and greet your interviewer(s)?
- DON’T EXAGGERATE: Stay true to your past experience and skills. Bring the energy but be prepared to back your statements with evidence. This is where storytelling will benefit you in demonstrating your potential.
- TOUGH QUESTIONS: Be ready to answer tough questions. “Why was your employment under a year at x company?” Have a to-the-point answer ready and practice scenarios of possible follow up questions. The key is to remain confident in your response, so practicing is crucial. In my last interview, the CEO asked, “What am I not asking you that I should be?” I had not even considered this type of question, but rehearsing several types of questions paid off and I was able to respond effectively.
- ADAPT: You can never know exactly how an interview will play out. That is why rehearsing and practicing possible responses will make you ready to impress. Also, do not beat yourself up if you stumble on some questions. Regroup and focus on the current question. I once interviewed for a job and in the middle of my sentence I could not remember a specific word. I was so stuck that it felt like a lifetime before I finally completed the sentence. Usually, these instances feel worse to you than the interviewer. Showing that you can recover and adapt is significant in these circumstances.
2 Personal Tips:
💥 Before my last interview, I turned on several moc-interview YouTube videos to practice answering interview questions in real time. This really helped prepare me to answer a variety of questions and flush out rambling/over-explaining.
💥 In the era of COVID, it is likely that you will participate in video interviews. Be prepared for these! It may be through a platform such as Skype or it may be a pre-recorded video interview where you will be expected to answer a series of questions in limited time without interacting with a live person. These can be awkward so remember to prep specifically for them if needed (I taped a picture of a family member to my wall and looked at it during the recording – believe it or not, the company actually recommended this and, surprisingly, it helped!)
Hope you enjoyed these tips!
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