Even if you’re a great candidate for the position, you know that you’re not the only one. You may tick all the right boxes in terms of qualifications and you may have a compelling track record to talk about, but chances are, so will several other candidates. What can you do to stand out from the crowd? How can you show that you are prepared to go the extra mile – that you want the job and deserve to get it more than the other candidates?
Here are some ideas that should help you do that:
Do your research. You should always be prepared to answer some form of this question from the interviewer: “What do you know about us?” And don’t just recite the About Us page from the website. Instead, look at the annual report to get a feel for the type of language the company uses and to understand what really matters to the organization. Make note of the keywords that characterize the company’s approach, and then you can play those back at interview.
Get a head start on the job. Demonstrate how you’ll add value to the business by presenting some thoughtful, insightful ideas that you’d like to propose. Putting that kind of time and effort into your preparation for the interview is an effective way to show that you really want the job. It also demonstrates that you have the skills and resourcefulness to come up with new ideas.
Show that you are resilient. Often technical expertise and relevant industry experience are a given, and what management is also looking for during the interview process is evidence of skills like resilience. The ability to bounce back from difficulties and learn from adversity shows you can cope and adapt in a fast-moving world with rapid technological changes. Businesses today face constant disruption, frequent restructuring and ongoing transformation so employers are looking for evidence of your ability to survive and thrive in such a climate. Be sure that you have examples that illustrate your ability to deal with and adapt to change.
Demonstrate a growth mindset. Another skill that can help you stand out from the crowd is agility – a willingness to move with the times, take on new skills and expand into new areas as business requirements and priorities evolve. Companies invest a lot of money to hire top talent, and so of course they are hiring not just for now but for the future too. So tell stories using real-life examples to demonstrate your learning agility and your readiness to stretch yourself.
Being prepared and showing you are prepared provides the interviewer with the impression you are truly interested in the potential job, took the time to plan and care about the outcome. And that sets you apart from the crowd – or at least positions you at the front of the pack.