Okay, so you finally landed an interview with one of your dream companies and you’re totally freaking out about it. So, you start with the basics. You complete thorough research on the company; you take the time to develop a list of amazing questions for that inevitable part of the interview when the hiring manage looks at you from across the table and ask, “so what questions do you have for us?”; and you have strategically curated the perfect look to showcase your trendy yet professionalism, but is this really enough? The answer to that question is “NO”. If you really want to impress a room of complete strangers sitting at a table judging you, you are going to have to stand out for all of the right reasons, and realize that you are not only competing with yourself, but you are most likely also competing with people who are already 3 steps ahead of you; and you know exactly why. Here are three things that you should NOT do in your interview in order to stand out and be remembered for all the right reasons.
1. Don’t show up empty handed
When you leave an interview, you want to have something tangible for the hiring team to hold on to and remember you by. Not just the typicall addtional copy of your resume and cover letter that the hiring team has already seen before. I mean something intentional that highlights your skills, knowledge and ability to acheive. For example, if you are interviewing for a position that is simialr to your previous position, then you should develope some type of handout/spreadsheet that highlights major projects that you have worked on and the outcomes. You want to leave a lasting impression, so develop something that proves that you are the person for the job, and make sure to keep these documents in really nice matching folders that you can hand out to the entire hiring team.
2. Don’t research the company
Well, don’t not research the company, but your research should not just be conducted on the companies, mission, goals, clients, and outcomes. Your research should also include the scope of the employees as well. There is nothing more impressive (well maybe a few things) than an interviewer sitting down and already knowing a little something about the people sitting across the table. You should strongly consider checking out LinkedIn pages to gain an understanding of the type of people who work at the company, what their interest are and any potential connections you may have; whether it be your college alma mater, organizations, or just something that stands out to you in their profile that you could mention in the interview.
3. Don’t just answer the questions
Tell stories! In a TED Talk, Andrew Stanton, a filmmaker who cowrote the “Toy Story” movies, says that a great story comes from using what you know, capturing a truth from experiencing it and from expressing values you feel deeply. He suggests you allow the listeners to make their own decisions about you from the story. That is, don’t come out and say you’re collaborative, adaptable, and hardworking. Tell a story that convinces your listeners that you possess these traits. When your stories are meaningful, succinct and tied to the values and interests of your interviewers they will, hands down, make you a more memorable job candidate. The connection you build with your interviewer through telling a great story could be the missing piece in landing you your dream job. So start creating stories that are true to you and showcase just how perfect you are for the job.