“I’m a team player.” “I guess my greatest weakness is that I work too hard.” “What sets me apart? Hard work!” Yawn. Let’s face it, a generic job interview can be pretty boring. If you get the feeling that your responses are snooze-worthy, imagine how your interviewer feels. After reviewing a ton of applications and hosting multiple interviews, it’s only natural that job candidates can start to blend together in an employer’s mind. In a world of dull applicants, how are you supposed to stand out in a job interview?
The answer is to get creative! Only you can find the perfect ways to bring your individual style and experience to the table, but here are three tricks that can help you break through the monotony in your next job interview:
Present a Plan
Nonspecific answers can only go so far. You want to make a difference on the team? Explain how in detail. Being specific in your responses requires will require you to go a step further in your research of the organization. After reviewing the basics – company history, core values, etc. – take a peek at the bigger picture, including competitors and the state of the industry. From there, write out a step-by-step road map for what you can bring to the table to help the organization overcome a major challenge they may be facing. If you’re able to present a fully formed plan for how you can make a difference on day one, that will stick in your interviewer’s mind more than just saying, “I’m ready to help!” ever could.
Laugh It Off
Looking for an underrated way to stand out in a job interview? Laugh! Job interviews can be stressful, and no one will judge you for being nervous. However, there’s no need to be as rigid as a robot! At the end of the day, your interviewer is a person, just like you. While they have a job to do and want to hire the right person for the team, they’re also looking to have a conversation with a real human being. If you flub a word here or there, don’t panic; laugh it off instead! The earlier you can release tension during the interview, the better.
Thank You for Handwriting
Without a doubt, candidates should always thank everyone they interacted with following a job interview. Phone calls and emails can get the job done, but a handwritten note takes the idea to the next level. Think about it – how often do you receive handwritten cards nowadays? How does it make you feel to open one up when the mail arrives? In our digital obsessed society, there’s still real value in physical items. After all, a text is easier to forget than a signed, sealed and delivered piece of thoughtfulness.
Everyone wants to stand out in a job interview, but just doing the status quo isn’t good enough in a competitive market. If you want to be remembered, try thinking outside of the box to become an unconventional candidate! What are your unique ways to stand out in a job interview? Share your tricks in the comments below!