No matter who you are or what job you are applying for, you need to leave a good impression on your interviewers. Specifically, each interviewer must have no doubt that you are the best candidate for the job and it’s your job to convince them! If the goal is to stand out from the candidate crowd and land your dream job, then make sure you convey these four key points.
Point 1: I've done my homework!
If you've taken time to research the company, it would be a mistake not to communicate this during your interview. Prove that you've done your homework on the company, its competitors and the industry by recapping what you learned during your research. Strategically reference or summarize the information learned from the company website, industry report, article, training session or discussions with experts. Lastly, enhance the questions you ask the interviewer with data learned from your studies. Showing that you’ve done your homework demonstrates your research and analytical skills!
Point 2: I want to learn more!
Your interview is an informational meeting. The point is to gather information. The flow of your interview should be conversational. It shouldn't feel like an interrogation. Rather, you should equally answer and ask pertinent questions. Don't wait until the end of the interview! Pose follow-up and clarifying questions about the role and your responsibilities during your interview. Also, inquire about the interviewers’ main challenges, pet peeves and what she or he expects you to accomplish in the first 60 days. Take this seriously, because you need to know what success in this role looks like. Also, any additional information will help you make the final decision. You should walk away from your interview with an answer to this question: Based on what I learned so far, if they extend me an offer do I still want this role? Added bonuses: it shows the hiring manager that you are genuinely interested in the role AND it makes for a more interesting conversation!
Point 3: I'm the best person for the job!
It is very important to express the reasons why you are THE best candidate for the job early in the interview and reiterate that fact during the interview. To successfully do this, you need to identify your past successes and relate them to what the current role requires. Also, research the company culture. Understand that good fit extends beyond your technical skills. The hiring manager was impressed with your resume, but the interview will inform her or him if you are a team player and if you are someone they can put in front of clients and senior leadership. Be sure to demonstrate that
1) your ASK (abilities, skills and knowledge) is sufficient to do the job
2) your willingness to do the job and take on additional responsibilities as needed
3) your character/personality will fit with the new team
It’s important that you do this with balance. The goal is to brag without being boastful. Demonstrate expertise, but also an ability and desire to learn from others. If you are a senior leader, you need to demonstrate expertise in addition to proving you are able to effectively lead and develop people, manage budgets, achieve goals and improve client relationships.
Point 4: I want the job and I'm ready for next steps!
At the end of the interview, it’s important that you end strong! Remind the interviewer(s) that you are the best person for the job and that you want the job. Before you leave the interview, inquire about next steps, timing and make sure you have the interviewer’s contact information to follow-up. Also, be sure to understand what additional information they expect from you. End with a smile, a professional handshake and thank the interviewer(s) by name for the opportunity. Lastly, send a tailored follow-up email to each interviewer.
Your job interview is the time for you to share and learn. If you effectively communicate these top 4 points, you are more likely to land at the top of the list of potential candidates for the job. You got this!