Guest Contributor

How to Stand Out in Your Next Job Interview

By | Samantha Higgins

The job market is incredibly competitive these days. Some sectors see even more competition than others. If you want to secure a new position, you’ll need to find ways to stand out from the crowd to prove you’re the person who’s right for the position. Surprisingly, there are some fairly simple ways to do just that. Take a look at these tips for how to stand out in your next job interview.

Research the Company

It helps to know as much about the company you’re interviewing with as possible. This gives you an edge because it shows you know how to take initiative and that you are truly interested in the position. Check out the company’s website and do some digging online for other sources of information such as case studies or ways in which they’ve contributed to their industry. Be sure to talk about what you’ve learned, especially the aspects that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying.

Arrive Early

Another way to stand out at the job interview is to show up early. Showing up in plenty of time before your actual interview gives you time to calm your nerves. You can do some relaxation exercises, listen to soothing music, or practice breathing techniques before you go into the building. Studying your notes is also an option to help you feel more prepared.

Look Sharp

Standing out with your knowledge and skills is always the best strategy, but it can’t hurt to take steps to look as professional as possible. Dressing well doesn’t mean you can’t show off your personality. On the contrary, you should absolutely take the time to inject some of your own unique style into your outfit. This will give the interviewers some insight into who you are and the energy you carry. Choose a double-breasted suit with a bold colored shirt or tie. Perhaps some eclectic jewelry choices would be good for a more creative job. Keep the atmosphere of the company and the specific position in mind when choosing your outfit.

Highlight Your Strengths

Be prepared to show off your strengths. This isn’t a time to be shy or modest. While you don’t want to sound cocky, confidence is important. Sharing your unique and exemplary skills isn’t bragging. Talk about the knowledge and talents you bring that are relevant to the position at hand. Give specific examples of past accomplishments so the interviewers can see what you’re capable of in a real-life situation. Doing so demonstrates how you would be able to provide them with similar results. Don’t forget to let them know you’re open to learning and improving. This is a highly-desired quality in an applicant.

Show Them Examples

If possible, it’s a good idea to bring samples of past projects so that the interviewers can actually see your skills in action. A portfolio is a good tool for some positions. This book is made up of examples of your work such as proposals, awards, and case studies. If you’re looking for a position in a creative field, your portfolio would contain samples of your art or designs. You can bring electronic files to demonstrate things like website design or blueprints. Be prepared to talk about why you chose each particular piece and how it benefited your employer or client.

Ask Relevant Questions

Asking questions is encouraged at interviews. However, potential employers don’t want you to bring questions just for the sake of having something to say. It’s important that your queries are relevant to the position and to your unique interests. What you ask should show you’ve given some critical thought to the matter and that you’re sincerely interested in learning more. You could ask about specific projects the department is working on or what types of obstacles someone in this position might be up against. Inquire about training opportunities or chances to grow with the company. Ask anything that you would genuinely want to know about the company and your desired job.

Keep these tips in mind to stand out in your next interview, and you’ll feel more confident. Plus, you’re more likely to be successful when you’re prepared. The job interview doesn’t have to be a scary prospect.

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