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How to stand out in job interviews

How to stand out in job interviews

Learn how to leave a positive and unforgettable impression, and showcase your skills and experience to successfully land your dream job.

You’ve crafted your impressive resume, applied for your ideal role, and been successful at landing an interview. You know all the interview best practices including researching the company, the culture and the position description, dressing to impress, and preparing in advance. But now you need to be able to stand out and differentiate yourself from the other equally qualified and prepared candidates. 

These tips will help you make that all important first impression and showcase why you are the best candidate for your dream role:

Talk about more than what is on your resume.

Often the interviewer will follow best practice and have structured questions they will ask you, such as “tell me about your previous experience”, and “tell me a time you handled a high pressure situation”. You’re likely to have well prepared answers to these questions, but often it can come across a little robotic or you find yourself repeating what’s on your resume. Remember the interviewer has already read your resume and instead wants to know how you can add value to the company and if you’re a good fit for the team.

This is your chance to go showcase your skills, experience and personality to stand out. Use storytelling to share examples of achievements in past roles and how you added value to the company and the team. Don’t forget to share examples of when you’ve gone above and beyond in a role. Storytelling is a powerful way to capture your audience, increase likeability and leave a lasting impression.

Showcase your unique skills.

If you’ve made it to the interview stage you likely have the key skills they are requiring for the job. In order to stand out, find ways to demonstrate additional skills and experience you have that could be valuable to the role, the company and team. 

Tell them who you are.

“Tell me about yourself” is a commonly asked question in interviews and often we start with a background of our professional experience or job history, which doesn’t really show the interviewer how you could fit the role and the team. Instead, connect your personality traits and strengths with the skills required for the role and the company’s values. For example, you could share that you’re a friendly person who recognises the importance of building trust and rapport with other colleagues, and that has enabled you to cultivate collaborative and productive teams.

Allow yourself to share past challenges in a productive manner.

To show your honesty and commitment to growth and improvement, be prepared to share examples of challenges or mistakes you have made when the interviewer asks. When you show how you’ve turned your weaknesses or challenges into opportunities for learning, and how that has shaped you today, you stand out as authentic and relatable.

Ask thoughtful questions.

The interview is also an opportunity for you to get to know the company culture and reflects what it’s actually like to work there. This helps you make an informed decision about accepting the role. Asking thoughtful questions also shows the interviewer that you’re truly interested in the job, and considering more than just salary or job perks.

Reimagine Talent founder, Tabitha West, shares her top 6 questions to ask in an interview:
  • What are this team’s biggest strengths and biggest challenges?

  • Is the work environment more collaborative or more independent?

  • What expectations do you have for this position in the next 12 months?

  • Can you describe some of the biggest challenges someone in this role will need to overcome?

  • Can you tell me about my direct reports? 

  • What is the process from here? Is there anything more I could provide you with that would help you in making a decision about my application?

Post interview, we recommend the following steps:

  • Follow up with a thank you via email, or, if you don’t have the direct email address, via LinkedIn

  • If you haven’t heard anything back regarding whether you were successful in the application, always follow up via phone call or email by 2 weeks later

  • If you weren’t successful in the application, always ask for feedback, both positive and constructive feedback to help you improve your interviewing skills for your next application

Remember, the Reimagine Talent team are always here to help and we’re passionate about helping you prepare for interview success, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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