An interview call’s something that every job seeker is eager to receive, regardless whether they’re fresher or have adequate experience. You’ll around for jobs and select the best ones that suit your career objectives. This clearly implies that you need to impress the interviewer with your etiquette, work experience and skills, academic qualification as well as soft skills. All this would definitely sound like a difficult task.
However, there’re several simple ways to stand out for a memorable job interview. And all it requires are some extra efforts. To standout for a memorable job interview, we first need to understand what a recruiter is seeking from a candidate.
Point Interviewers Look From Candidates
Several years ago, the primary focus of an interviewer would be to discuss your educational qualifications and work skills. Over the years, the interviewing system itself is getting more complex and sophisticated. Here’re some points that interviewers look from a candidate.
Corporate and business etiquette is something that most employers look for nowadays during an interview. They closely observe your manners to find out how you would deal with junior, peers, seniors, as well as business associates and customers.
Corporate and business etiquette is not something you can acquire overnight. It requires years of practice and experience. Usually, an experienced jobseeker will clearly display business and corporate etiquette. However, the going could get tough for a fresher.
If you’re a fresher, try and learn somethings about business and corporate etiquette and their importance through websites and YouTube videos. They’re also a few short online classes that train you to incorporate and business etiquette that’s available on e-learning portals.
2. Body Language
Your body language can betray your thoughts. A good and experienced interviewer will note your body language during an interview. Generally, they’ll do this by asking questions you wouldn’t expect or aren’t prepared for during an interview. These could have something to do with your education and career objectives, work experience or skills.
The way to greet the interviewer, seating style, how you hand over documents, respond to questions and your overall demeanour including eye contact, signs of nervousness or anxiety, excitement all takes into account.
Here I would suggest you be as natural as possible. Never follow tips such as smiling at the interviewer since it looks sheepish. Or appear too eager or anxious to create a good impression. These usually prove counterproductive.
3. Career Growth
An interviewer will not ask you about your career growth during an interview. However, they’ll check these through details on your Resume or Curriculum Vitae. If the Resume or CV indicates you’ve been switching jobs but got better positions or even promotions with a single employer, it clearly signifies you’re serious about the career and doing your best to grow.
Therefore, an interviewer will try to identify and ask what’re your personal and career objectives behind seeking the job. They’ll also try and find out how long you would serve the employer and what it takes to retain you at the job. No employer wants to lose a good worker. They also want to avoid bad hires for obvious reasons. Therefore, your career objectives are something every interviewer would want to know.
Tips to Standout for a Memorable Interview
The three points I mentioned above are something every recruiter without exception would look from a job seeker. Therefore, prepare for these carefully, regardless of whether you’re applying for the first job, seeking a higher position or pay or a better career prospects in every way.
To impress one or more interviewers is the first step towards getting that offer letter. Therefore, it’s extremely important to have an interview that’s memorable for the interviewer and you as a jobseeker.
1. Best Use of Time
Making best use of the interview time is the first and most important tip to stand out and have a memorable interview. Typically, the duration of an interview is between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on whether you’re a fresher or experienced jobseeker. In some exceptional instances, though, the interview could stretch for an hour too.
Hence, an interviewer or a panel of interviewers have limited time to judge whether you’re suitable for the job and worth employing. You can actually help them make best use of this time by providing precise, to-the-point responses to every question. Pack your answers with a lot of information. This leaves no room for ambiguity and doubts in the minds of one or more interviewers.
Providing exact and precise, information-packed answers mean you’re enabling the interviewer to make the best use of the limited time. This is very useful to standout and have a memorable interview experience for all- the interviewer and yourself.
2. Highlight Skills over Experience
A common mistake that most jobseekers commit is mistaking skills for the experience. The two are entirely different. Skills imply your capabilities to handle and perform certain tasks that an employer requires. Experience is usually the number of years you’ve been using these skills or doing a specific job. Therefore, highlight your skills over experience.
Usually, every employer looks for certain work skills while filling a vacancy. Use the interview time and questions to highlight your skills that would prove useful to the employer rather than experience. That’s because you could have long experience but not adequate skills and vice versa.
By highlighting work skills, you’re actually creating a memorable experience for the interviewer and yourself. If an employer needs your specific work skills, they’ll remember you as a candidate and shortlist your name for the offer letter. In fact, the better you highlight the skills that an employer needs, the greater your chances to get the job.
3. Response v/s Reply
Renowned American motivational speaker and management guru, Dr Stephen R. Covey has a famous quote that says: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply.” Unfortunately, that’s true about most jobseekers. They do not listen to the question or statement made by interviewers and comprehend it fully. Instead, they merely listen to the question to reply.
What happens? When you don’t fully comprehend or understand the question or statement, it’s clear that you’ll provide an answer that doesn’t satisfy the interviewer. Worse, it leaves a very poor impression. Actually, a memorable interview is all about creating and leaving behind a good impression. Therefore, a quick reply instead of response can harm your efforts to impress an interviewer.
Take time to fully understand the question and comprehend what an interviewer is looking for. Never rush to reply. Instead, pause for a few seconds and give an astute answer that provides all the details that an interviewer is seeking. Doing so makes your interview memorable.
4. Showcase Soft Skills Too
Superb communications, problem-solving or troubleshooting, team-play, leadership qualities, abilities to stay calm during crises or emergencies and high sense of responsibility are some vital soft skills that employers want to see in every candidate. It’s easy to showcase them provided you take some extra efforts.
It’s not possible to tell you about your soft skills to an interviewer. Therefore, the best way to showcase soft skills is by writing about them on your Resume or CV. Mention memberships to any clubs, professional associations, alumni and social service organizations.
Also, include successful projects that you’ve executed as an intern during studies or as an intern and trainee. If you’ve been able to solve tricky problems at the workplace or in the society, mention them on your resume too.
Instead of speaking about these soft skills directly, mention them while you’re responding to questions about your work experience, skills and educational qualifications. Generally, these are three topics on which an interviewer would definitely ask you some questions. As I mentioned earlier, use the time to provide information-packed answers. Therefore, load some information about soft skills too in your responses.
5. Speak about Mutual Benefits
Remember, you’re at an interview because something about your Resume or CV could catch the attention of an employer. Or else, why would they waste time, effort and resources on interviewing you in the first place? However, most candidates wrongly believe the employer is doing them a favour by calling for an interview.
To stand out and have a memorable interview for the recruiter and yourself, speak about the mutual benefits of hiring you. Clearly define what you can bring to the table and what you expect in return. It’s not rude or impolite to speak about your own benefits with an interviewer.
However, you also need to bear in mind the benefits an employer gets by hiring you. Therefore, show how hiring you would serve the employer’s business goals. And what benefits you can get or expect by playing the role.
6. In Conclusion
One key fact to remember is that an interview is a two-way dialogue or discussion between the employer and jobseeker. Overall, an interviewer wants to find whether you can meet the needs of the employer or the organization. The same way, you also need to utilize an interview to know whether it suits your professional and personal objectives.