5 Ways to Leave a Lasting Impression During a Job Interview
Editor's note: This is a follow-up post from Tuesday's blog on "5 Positive Signs Your Interview Went Well." Today's blog will dig deeper into the best ways job seekers can put themselves in position to receive good news after the interview. Today's focus is on the five best ways to leave a lasting impression with the employer.
There is perhaps no better feeling as a job seeker than the phone call that relays the news you've been waiting a few days - maybe weeks - to hear. When you realize a job offer in a desirable field is on the table, all of your hard work (earning a degree online while working a full-time job and caring for a family, for instance) races to the top of your mind. Yes, it was certainly worth the effort.
So, as a job seeker, how you do find yourself in the favorable position of noticing the five signs that yesterday's blog referenced? Let's work backwards. Before the employer relays the good news, sparks must fly. The employer must see you as an ideal fit for the organization. Your mission is to leave the employer with no other choice.
The goal of this blog is to put job seekers in the best position to receive that coveted phone call. Here are the top five ways to leave a lasting impression during a job interview:
1. Be original.
When interviewers ask you questions, try to leave them with something that makes you stand out. For instance, perhaps you have a unique story that relates to your industry and/or qualifications. Or maybe someone at the organization let you know about the position. Whatever it is, make sure your hook ties in to the position for which you're applying.
Nothing gives off more of a professional vibe than when you, as the interviewee, are prepared for the meeting. There are several facets of being prepared for the interview. If needed, make a checklist and cross off the following items:
- Research the company before you interview. Find a way to smoothly drop in a line or two that proves you looked up information about the organization on its website.
- Plan your outfit days in advance. If you need to hit the dry-cleaners, plan the trip with enough time to spare. You don't want to find yourself fumbling for clothes the day of the interview.
- Get the proper amount of rest. You know how many hours of sleep it takes for you to operate at an optimal level. I require eight. Get a good night's sleep.
- Arrive early. Don't arrive more than a half-hour early, as the interviewer likely has a busy schedule and you'll just find yourself in the waiting room. I'd say 15 minutes early is a good number.
- No one likes bad breath. Remember to brush your teeth before leaving. For additional reinforcement, use mouthwash; gum is OK, but only before the interview. Chewing gum during an interview may be distracting.
3. Show how your qualifications match the job description.
As you're conversing with the potential employer, keep in mind that this individual is looking for ways in which you can benefit the organization. Don't focus too much on your past experience without also keeping an eye toward the future. Yes, your past experience is vital in securing the job, but try to articulate how your past experience will help you excel in this desired position.
Be specific when describing your skill-set. Try to avoid broad-reaching phrases like hard-working, etc. Anyone can say that. Those phrases aren't really memorable. Cite specific examples of how you helped your previous team grow.
4. Achieve a balance between humble and confident.
When communicating with the potential employer, it's good to sound confident in your abilities. Sitting up straight with an upright posture exudes confidence, as does the delivery of your words in describing your previous experience and how it could impact the future. It's important to strike a balance between being confident and being humble. An interviewer will grow tired of a know-it-all pretty quickly.
5. Don't force the issue.
Try to find natural ways to incorporate key topics, such as questions relating to salary and benefits. Of course, this information is vital, but don't force the issue. The first 10 minutes of the interview is not an appropriate time to ask about salary and benefits. You want to prove to the employer that the job is the primary selling point, not the benefits. There's a time for those types of questions, and it's usually at the end of the interview.
The next time you're invited to interview, review these tips as you prepare to make a lasting impression on the employer. And remember to relax. If you do everything you can to prepare for the interview, there won't be nearly as much to worry about. Be yourself and the employer will take notice.
Looking for other ways to make a memorable impression? Download our free eBook - "How to Ace the Interview - And Stand Out From the Crowd" - by clicking the image below:
About the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to that, he blogged about Big 12 Conference athletics for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.