Ways to stand out in an interview

By Katie Collett

Interviewing is a fundamental step every student must take when moving towards a future career. Before an interview, it is important to properly prepare so that you can leave a lasting impression. The majority of companies are looking for an individual that displays enthusiasm, respect and a working mentality that will make a great addition to their team. With that being said, there are a few ways you can prepare that will make the big day smooth-sailing!

Dressing the part is a very essential step when properly preparing. The way you dress can show a lot about who you are and how much you care. Business casual is considered the most appropriate choice of clothing for interviews and displays a level of sophistication that shows hard work-ethic. Most companies require a business casual dress code in their offices, so already coming dressed accordingly for the part puts you one step closer to being offered a position. 

Keeping eye contact, having good posture and a strong, firm handshake are three essential skills you should practice before an interview. Body language speak volumes about a person and having these three essential skills can help you during your interview process. Holding eye contact with the person you are speaking to shows that you are listening intently and care about what they are saying. When you have good posture, it demonstrates that you are alert, caring and mature. A firm handshake shows confidence and is a sign of respect. Having a weak handshake can leave a person with a bad first impression, and it may negatively affect your interview. 

Walking into an interview, you want to feel prepared for any questions that could be thrown your way. Taking the time to research will help when answering them, and it will give you a better understanding about the company and its values. Not only should you be prepared to answer questions, but it is always a good idea to have questions prepared, as well. Asking questions displays enthusiasm, and companies love to see a potential employee who is eager and willing to go the extra mile to compile research. Questions that are great to ask include; “What does a typical work day look like? What are you looking for in your ideal candidate? How long have you been with the company? Why did you choose to work for this company?” There are of course many more questions you can ask but make sure to have them in mind during the interview. 

Make sure to have a few copies of your resume printed out, with extra business cards in hand. This will come in handy in case the paper is torn, wrinkled or if you meet with other associates. Of course, make sure to print using resume paper! 

The day has come! You jump out of bed, put on your best business casual attire and leave the house with your resumes in hand. As you are making your way to the company, remember to stay calm, cool and collected, and practice your greeting. You walk into the company, back straight, head held high and firmly shake the associates hand you are meeting while keeping eye contact the entire time. From there you are led into a room with questions in mind, and are ready for the interview to commence! 

Interviewing can be a very daunting experience that many struggle with. The more you practice and prepare, the easier the interview will be. Remember to be confident during the entire process, while harnessing these essential tools to give you that boost above your fellow competition.