Be Prepared for Your Next Interview: 5 Tips to Stand Out From the Competition

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” - Abraham Lincoln

It is that time of year again…interview season! Whether you are a soon to be graduate or a person looking for a new job, we have tips for you to get ready for your next interview.

In a survey of 2000 bosses, thirty-three percent claimed they know if they will hire someone within the first 90 seconds. 90 seconds! That means you don’t have much time to stand out and make known that you are the right person for the job.

But, don’t panic. After all, you are trying to figure out if this company is a good fit for you and vice versa. Remember to relax and follow these five simple steps.

Be Authentic You never know what your interviewer will relate to. Bring your whole self into the room. That means you bring the high school athlete, the singer, the dancer, or any other quirks that make you who you are. You may be surprised by what resonates with the person across from you and you might connect on a level that doesn’t relate at all to the job position – and that is not a bad thing! (to learn more about Authentic Leadership)

Be Prepared Studies have shown that 47% of individuals have little or no knowledge of the company they are interviewing for.It is one the most common mistakes job seekers make during interviews. Do not let this be you. Do your homework. Also, at the end of the interview, when are asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” (and they will ask), NEVER say no! Interviewing is a two-way street. They are interviewing you for the job, but at the same time you should be interviewing them to see if this company is a good fit for you. By asking a question, you show that you care about the company and you are genuinely interested in what they do and how they do it.

Listen Make sure you listen to the questions that are asked so you can answer them thoughtfully. No need to jump the gun; after all, studies show that there is only a 7% impact from what we actually say. The majority comes from the quality of our voice, grammar, body language and overall confidence.

Know Your Strengths It’s important to know what your core strengths are and be able to communicate that with the interviewer. No, you are not bragging about yourself. Women especially have difficulty taking credit for their achievements and owning their strengths. An interview is your opportunity to prove the value you can bring to the company, so tell a story about an experience that your used a given talent or strength. Was it when you took charge of a critical situation? Or how you worked well with others on a team? Be able to talk about it in a clear and concise way and don’t hesitate to talk yourself up.

Dress the Part Studies show 65% of bosses said clothing could be the deciding factor between two similar candidates. Dress to impress but do it in a professional way. And you don’t need bright colors to be remembered; a simple professional neutral color wardrobe is just what you need.

Contributed by: Grace Herron 

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