Have you been on the job hunt with several interviews, but can’t seem to land a job? Try out these three tips to help you stand out and put you over the top in your next interview.
Job Description Dissection
Have you looked at the job description in detail? I’m not talking about a quick skim where you think you pretty much know what they want, I’m talking dissecting the job description and its duties piece by piece. The job description and the interview questions are likely to be similar, so be prepared. To make yourself a leading candidate for the job, you should think of relevant job experiences that you can relate to each description. For example, if the job duty reads: “Ability to lead a creative team and interact directly with clients,” think of a time you had to do exactly that. Maybe you were the Photoshop expert, but the account manager was out sick and you had to lead a very important conference call addressing the client’s concerns about keeping their account in the company’s hands. These experiences can really show-off your versatility and experience, and especially how they relate to the exact role the employer is looking to fill. We all have situations we are proud of, but it can be hard to remember them on-the-spot during an interview. Let the reflecting begin and bring those experiences back to life!
Provide a Sample or Plan of Action
Nothing says prepared like taking the initiative to provide a sample piece of work. Depending on what job you are applying for, this sample could be anything from a short 500-word article of relevant content to a sample portfolio of your creative work in past jobs. Think about this for a second: how many candidates walk through the door with either of these ready to hand an interviewer without being asked for it? Realistically, you could be the only one who has done so. This will not only leave a lasting impression, but give you an opportunity to show (and not just tell) what you can do.
Find a Way to Lead the Interview
Interviews often start off with a little small talk before the robotic, question and answer part starts. Instead of following the systematic structure of every other interview, get the interviewer out of their routine and take the lead! Transition from small talk to relevant dialogue that you know the interviewer will be interested in instead of waiting for them to ask the first question. If you can naturally answer questions they are looking to uncover with your conversational dialogue, then you are making their job easier. Suddenly you are not only different from the rest, but you just somehow fit naturally within the company – maybe it was the way you answered half of the questions without the interviewer having to ask you. This approach takes the edge off the question and answer process and allows you to steer the bulk of the conversation. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but if you enjoy talking to people, then tap into those natural conversational skills. Remember that the interview is simply a conversation between two people. If you see them start to write notes down while you are in the middle of your opening dialogue, then you have successfully pulled this off. Keep going!
Of course, keep in mind that the above tips are just a few suggestions to add on to what already works for you. Make sure you are doing whatever makes you comfortable because at the end of the day, your interview should show the authentic you.
For more in-depth interview tips, download our Interview Guide.
Krista is a Creative Circle candidate, creative writer and content creator in Los Angeles. Her background includes news, marketing, copywriting and editing. If you are interested in working with Krista, please contact Creative Circle LA.