Job interviews are like business pitches; each candidate must defend their skill sets and portfolio in front of a panel or interviewer. And while a candidate might have a great resume, there’s a huge chance ten other candidates are as good and even better.
So how can one stand out from the crowd during job interviews? Are there special skills one must possess to do so? And if yes, what are these skills?
- Be Punctual
You can never go wrong by being timely or punctual during a job interview. You want to be at the venue minutes [or even hours] before the start of the event to give yourself time to settle in.
What this does for you is give you time to take in the environment, gather your wits, and go over the pieces of information you have pertaining to the opening.
If you reside in a megacity like Lagos where traffic gridlocks can cause a hindrance to your punctuality, opt to take off from your location to the interview venue early on.
- Begin Doing The Job Already
Yup, you heard that right. What better way to stand out from the crowd of other potential hires than to step up and begin doing the job already.
This, however, will require careful attention to details. The first thing you want to do is observe the environment, identify a problem, and solve the problem. For instance, if you’re scheduled for an Executive Assistant position, and notice that the interviewer is swamped with coordinating the candidates, volunteer to assist them.
- Ask Relevant Questions Connected To The Job
If there’s one way to truly shine during a job interview, it is to ask questions. Your might wonder how asking questions would make you look smart since you’re supposed to be “smart” during an interview.
But in reality, smart job seekers ask relevant questions. Recall how we illustrated job interviews to be like business pitches? Well, wouldn’t it be odd to pitch your product or services to a company without knowing what they do? That’d be pretty odd and worse, an unintelligent business move.
Make no mistake, asking questions does not mean you haven’t researched the company or hirer thoroughly. Your questions are to clearly understand that which has been researched or discussed during the interview. Let’s pick up from that Executive Assistant example we sited earlier, after coordinating other candidates and during the course of your interview, you can ask the hirer if that is what a typical day would look like in the company. This is just a small example of a question to ask.
- Sell Yourself Well
Otherwise, called the “elevator pitch”. Prepare a 10 to 30 second summary about yourself. This is in order to ace the “tell us about yourself” question.
In this pitch, include why the company should hire you, what your skills are, your core strengths, accomplishments, awards obtained, certifications awarded, as well as a little story of your background [educational and professional].
In selling yourself, always look for a fresh approach to the storytelling. Be creative but factual, and simple and concise in the narration as well.
- Dress Smartly
There’s no lie that one is addressed the way they dress. Make no mistake, your dressing will make the first impression of you to the interviewer before you get a chance to even introduce yourself. So while you may have the most brilliant ideas among the other candidates, it is how you look that would determine how willing the interviewer would be to listen to what you have to say.
Of course, you do not necessarily need to sweat it in the dressing department [except otherwise indicated]. A simple well-fitting, well-tailored, well-ironed, formal or semi-formal outfit would do.
Avoid uncomfortable, dirty, indecent or out of place dressing. For jewellery, you’d want to keep it simple as well. Avoid bulky, dangling pieces. And keep your body spray, cologne, perfume light. It can be offensive to some if your deodorant or perfume is too much.
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