How to Stand Out at Interview Time

The dreaded job interview. I can hear your pulse racing already, and honestly, I don’t blame you. I used to be terrified of interviews, whether they be first, second or third, the open-ended question fiesta climbed under my skin a millisecond after excited adrenaline left my system and opportunity turned to despair. Great, now I have a chance to make an idiot of myself in front of people who don’t even know me, I’d berate myself, following with a reminder of my modest skill set. If you can’t tell already, humanity serves itself with a very critical dose of internal cynicism every time something good happens, acting as a curb to any chance of an ego boost. So how do you survive it? You don’t – You take that interview by the horns and thrive, scoring the role you’ve always wanted and instant kudos to boot. Want to know how? Read on.

The Extra Mile – Walk Right This Way

Are you sick of sayings like, go the extra mile, be bold and different, you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit? Yeah, me too. Every single one of these demands the reader stand out from the crowd without illuminating the how or the why. The latter is actually quite simple. Imagine you’re a HR manager or employer scheduling interview – your morning starts with a cup of coffee and a pile of CV’s, some badly written, others not so much, considering what you’re looking for before the first one walks through the door. You can’t remember their name. The clothes are bland, their answers are boring and perfectly crafted to match their CV. You go through twenty of these per day, for a week, with very few asking anything more about the role, the company or what you’re looking for. When asked if they have any questions, most just blankly smile and shake their heads, exhausted by the whole process of being so perfect a skin-made automaton would have performed just as well. Why stand out? Because you will be remembered, appreciated and quite possibly welcomed back for a second interview with open arms.

Dazzle Them With Bewilderment

How? Ah, that’s a difficult question and the answer changes from person to person. A good stop-gap for absolutely everyone is research, research, research. Yes, I’ve repeated the word three times but preparation is essential if you come to question time; you never want to be THAT person who has nothing to say. Delve into the company history, the department you may be working for and the position criteria, formulating three hard hitting questions that really get to crux of the culture, the role and your adopted company. Know who you’re working for and don’t be afraid to show them you have a voice.

Be…Professional? Logical? Ineffable? Cool? Nope, Just Be Yourself

Nobody wants to hire a robot. Showing your human side and owning your nerves (a quick joke for example about your feelings lets the other side know where your heads at) will help you to banish them as the interview progresses. If you’re interviewing at agencies like Randstad in Melbourne, you’d be expected to be a little bit funky but clothed professionally, letting your personality shine through as your greatest asset. I think this is true everywhere else, though some roles may require you to temper little eccentricities and pull them back a bit. If you don’t feel comfortable in the office or culture after the second interview, cut your losses and seek another opportunity. You spend a lot of time in the office, life shouldn’t be an impromptu stage production where you never know the lines.
How do you feel about the infamous job interview? What mechanisms have you developed to get you through or better yet, score an awesome job.
Blog post by: Jessica Hannah

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