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Stand Out in the Interview: Be the Candidate they Remember!

A collage of four professionals waiting to be interviewed with different expressions on their faces.

In this highly competitive job market, standing out in an interview is essential to securing a job offer. From the moment you walk through the door to the follow-up after you leave, every step counts. Here's how to make a powerful first impression, showcase your genuine interest in the company, and present yourself as the ideal candidate.


Deliver a Powerful First Impression

First impressions are made within the first few seconds of meeting someone, and they can significantly impact the outcome of your interview. As soon as you enter the room, your communication style, body language, attire, and demeanor will be under scrutiny. Here’s how to make those first moments count.


1.      Present Positive Body Language: Show confidence, make eye contact, and offer a firm handshake. A genuine smile can convey poise and warmth. Avoid fidgeting or crossing your arms, as these can suggest nervousness or defensiveness.


2.      Be Punctual: Arrive 10-15 minutes early. This shows that you value the interviewer’s time and are excited about the opportunity. Use this time to collect your thoughts and review any last minute notes.


3.      Dress Appropriately: Research the company culture and dress code beforehand. Choose to wear something that is professional and suitable for the environment. When in doubt, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.


Demonstrate Genuine Interest

One of the best ways to stand out from your competition is by showing that you are genuinely interested in the company and the position. This requires thorough research and preparation to help you get ready for the more challenging questions in the interview.


1.      Understand the Company: Familiarize yourself with the company’s history, mission, and core values. Visit their website, read up-to-date news articles, and follow them on social media. This will help you tailor your responses to align with their goals and culture.


2.      Know the Role: Read the job description carefully and understand the key responsibilities and requirements. Think about how your skills and experiences match these criteria. Be prepared to discuss specific examples that demonstrate your qualifications.


3.      Prepare Insightful Questions: Asking thoughtful questions shows that you are engaged and have done your homework. Inquire about the company’s future plans, team dynamics, or specific challenges related to the role. This not only demonstrates your interest but also gives you valuable insights into whether the company is the right fit for you.


Display your Personality and Professionalism

While skills and experience are critical, your personality and professionalism can set you apart from other candidates. Here’s how to strike the right balance.


1.      Be Authentic: Let your true self and story shine through. Authenticity helps build a connection with the interviewer and can make you more memorable. Talk about why you are excited about this opportunity and how it aligns with your career goals. Enthusiasm can be contagious and can leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.


2.      Highlight Your Unique Value: Clearly articulate how your background, skills, and experiences make you the perfect fit for the job. Use specific examples to demonstrate your achievements and how they relate to the role. For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing position, discuss a successful campaign you have contributed to and the impact on the company.


3.      Maintain a Professional Attitude: While it’s important to be personable, always maintain a high level of professionalism. Be respectful, attentive, and mindful of your language and tone. Avoid speaking negatively about past employers or colleagues.


The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Thoughtful and meaningful follow-up can reinforce your interest and serves to remind them why they interviewed you in the first place. Within 24 hours of the interview, send a thank-you email to each person you spoke with. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest and mention what you learned during the interview and how you believe you can add future value.

Standing out in an interview is about more than just having the right qualifications. It’s about making a strong first impression, demonstrating genuine interest, highlighting your personality and professionalism, and following up in a way that you’ll be remembered. By preparing thoroughly and presenting yourself authentically, you can leave a powerful impression that sets you apart from other candidates so that you are the one that gets the offer!


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