Today we’re going to discuss about 5 tactics that candidates do in the interview process that really make them stand out. Now these things are simple and anyone can do them, but very few candidates do all of them, and especially number 5, that one is a bit tricky. I’ll walk you through what each tactic is, and from interviewing so many people I have seen this to be tried and true.
Tactic number 1: the thank-you email. Sending a thank-you email after an interview is a simple yet potent way to show your interest. I have heard of offer decisions being made based on a thank you note, and the reason why is a thank-you note shows a genuine interest and enthusiasm. And really solidifies that emotional connection with that company to show that you are invested in the opportunity.
Some very quick tips on how to send a thank-you note. First, make sure you send it within 24hours. Second, make it personable, show enthusiasm, you want to sound colloquial but without sounding unprofessional. A simple message you could write is: Simple, easy, bond solidified.
Tactic number 2: frequently following up. In a similar vein to sending thank you emails, following up shows a level of interest that lets a company know that you are invested in this opportunity. Companies aren’t looking for candidates who are passive and wait around, they like that you’re taking initiative.
So if a company has not gotten back to you, make sure you follow up with them every three to five business days, or in whatever timeframe they gave you. Make sure you always remember to ask about next steps and follow up three times before giving up. Your follow-up email should be different depending on who in an organization you are contacting.
Now, will cover – how to send these specific messages in another article about how to follow up, and I will link that in here soon.
Tactic number 3: Researching the interviewers. The advice people usually get is to do research on the company you are interviewing for, which is absolutely great advice. I’m saying take it a step further do research on the people who will be interviewing you. This will help you to make deeper connections with them in the interview setting.
Someone I work with did this where he came into the interview and he knew all about the blogs the different people wrote, their personal interests, and it is something that stood out so much that to this day coworkers still bring up the fact that he did that. And this was not creepy at all, this is all public information that he used, but it really showed how excited and interested he was in the role, how interested he was in the people who he was interviewing with, and he made a meaningful connection. And of course I spoiled it, but he got the job.
So the way to do this is to make sure you ask for a list of people who will be interviewing you before you come in. This is a very common request. Then look them up before you come in. A few things to look at is their hometown, the school they went to, previous companies they worked at, if they have any personal blogs, website that you can look at. If you can find one or two things to genuinely connect with them on, then you will stand out.
An example of a way to work this into a conversation is, “When preparing for this interview and I came across your personal website with your photography and those photos of the Grand Canyon were incredible. With everything that you have going on here, do you have time to shoot often?” The cool thing about this example is that you’re throwing them a compliment, you’re showing that you did your research before the interview, but you’re also asking a work-life balance question that will be useful for you. Even just that one comment thrown in there will really impress them and help you stand out.
Tactic number 4: Asking questions in the interview. In most interviews there’ll be a time when the interviewer flips it around and says, “Hey, do you have any questions for me?” And when they say that you always should ask questions without fail. People who don’t have any questions come off as low quality candidates because it seems like they’re just looking for a job instead of the best job for them.
So make sure you have a few questions always in your back pocket. Some examples of some things you can ask are ask questions about the interviewer. Such as: What got you interested in this company and industry? What made you choose to work there? Ask about the company and team goals such as: What’s the team looking to accomplish in the next 90 days? And ask about the company culture, such as: What defines a culture fit at your company? And why do you enjoy coming to work every day? Make sure you think about more questions you want to ask especially specific to the role and the team that you’re going to join before you go into your interview. I’ve had so many hiring managers come out of interviews and say, “I think they’re the right candidate, they ask all the right questions.” Which is pretty crazy because you think that in an interview you’re there to answer questions, but really the questions you ask show a lot about you and convey that you are a high quality candidate.
Tactic number 5: Being clear about your skills, interests, and priorities. Now I hesitated to put this tactic in this video because it is an advanced one and only works if you have a clear idea of what you want in your next opportunity. But if you do know what you’re looking for then this tactic is powerful. I would say the majority of people in interviews are very agreeable. They say, I can do this, I can do this, you could throw me in all these different situations. How do we think I would fit? Now this is a good way to seem flexible and potentially get the job, but what really stands out is the candidates who are very self-possessed, they understand what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, what they really want in their next opportunity, and what they don’t want in their next opportunity. And they are explicit and clear about those expectations. For example, to this day there’s one candidate who always stands on my head who did this so well and she got top marks across all of her interviewers. She was going for a marketing position and she immediately articulated exactly the areas she could add value, things that she needs to work on, as well as things she wasn’t interested in. She was so direct that when we saw that what she’s great at is what exactly we needed, it was a no-brainer that we wanted to make her an offer.
This tactic may get you rejected so make sure that whatever you’re saying that you would be happy that you’re rejected for those things that you said because that would mean that it’s not the right opportunity for you. So like I said, if you don’t know what you want, then don’t go disqualifying yourself left and right. But showing that you have purpose, you know what value you can add, you know who you are, you know what you want in your next role, that is very compelling. So those are all my tips for today, best of luck in your interviews. Share this post with your friends too!! Thanks