If you’ve landed a job interview, congratulations! Take a moment to revel in this moment of success.
With that important task taken care of, it’s time to develop a plan of attack to ensure you convert the chance you’ve been given into the job of your dreams. From teeth whitening to the lost art of conversation, here are five tips that will give you a competitive edge over other candidates:
1. Nail Your First Impression
Everyone knows that you need to show up for job interviews neatly groomed and well-dressed, which means that looking presentable isn’t going to give you a competitive edge. However, you can get one up on other candidates in a surprisingly simple way – by brightening your smile. Teeth whitening is surprisingly affordable nowadays, and it can be taken care of in less than an hour. Be sure to visit a qualified dentist with good reviews, and your bright smile will help you make a memorable first impression.
2. Treat everyone as though they’re the boss
From the stranger you bump into on their way out of the office to the receptionist who greets you and the staff members you pass on the way to the interview room, make sure you treat everyone with the same level of respect you plan on giving the hiring manager. You’d be surprised at how many managers ask the receptionist what they thought of the candidates. And that person you held the door open for? That could be the CEO or someone else with authority.
3. Stop Winging the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question
Many job seekers treat this question as a meaningless warm-up for the interview. Though it does serve the purpose of breaking the ice, your interviewer puts a surprising amount of stock in what you say. If you construct a well-thought-out, captivating narrative that answers the question naturally while highlighting your strengths and uniquely wonderful characteristics, you will stand out from the crowd of candidates who ramble their way through a vague response.
4. Ask Insightful Questions
Though it may seem like a polite formality, the moment when the interviewer allows you to ask questions is an opportunity to shine that many applicants leave untapped. Spend some of your preparation time thinking beyond the superficial aspects of the role and come up with questions that show you’ve researched the company and have an interest in its goals and mission statement. If you ask relevant questions that no other candidate has thought of, you are guaranteed to stand out for all the right reasons.
5. Hijack the interview
So many people allow their job interviews to be nothing more than a series of questions and answers. This teacher-student style interaction gets mind-numbingly repetitive for interviewers, so if you’re able to transform your interview into a conversation, you’ll rise above the crowd of other candidates. In addition to standing out, you’ll also get to display your brilliant communication skills while showing the interviewer some genuine personality. This allows them to see how well you’ll fit in with the team while giving them a welcome break from the tedium of a day full of interviews.
Follow these tips throughout your preparation process and you will shine when the interview day rolls around. And as an added bonus, the simple act of being well-prepared will quell your nerves and fill you with confidence, thus boosting your chances even more.