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How to stand out in a job interview for all the right reasons

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Much has been written about job interviews over time and the ways to ensure that you give a good impression rather than tripping over your feet and ultimately not getting that all-important job offer.

But, these days, it’s not enough to just look presentable and give all of the correct answers to the questions that you’re asked. Employers are looking for that special candidate who stands out from all the rest. One who makes them think and isn’t just another number in a row of people.

If you’re looking to stand out in a job interview, make sure that it’s for all positive reasons and here are a few ways that you can do it:

Ask the right questions

Yes, it’s important to show that you’ve read up on the organisation you’re applying to, but to make yourself really stand out, ask questions about the company which demonstrate the knowledge that you’ve gained. Show your passion for the industry, intelligence and overall self-awareness by asking how certain current affairs (for example a Brexit) have or will affect the company and the industry as a whole. Draw the interviewer into conversation about subjects relevant to the interview, get them off script, spike their interest and by doing so, show your passion for the role.

On the other hand, be careful not to ask questions that you should already know the answer to, such as ones where you could easily find the answer on the company website.

Pick a good weakness

Everyone dreads the infamous strengths and weaknesses question, but, if it does crop up, be prepared for it. No-one wants a list of all the negative bits about you, but in a similar way, it’s never a good idea to answer the weaknesses question with a thinly veiled positive (such as “I’m a perfectionist” etc). Instead, look for something which is a flaw, but yet isn’t massively detrimental to the role and demonstrate how you are working on managing it. For example, you might not be great at speaking to large groups of people or delegating tasks, but this is something which can be worked on.

Use your contacts

As well as finding out all you can about the company from what’s online, do you know anyone who already works for them? This could be a good way to get some real insider knowledge and show a real understanding of exactly how the organisation works from the inside. The more knowledge that you can show you have of the sector, the better.

Show your passion and drive

In many finance and HR roles, experience is valued in equal amounts to qualifications, however, if you’re just out of university, or swapping over from another industry, then it might be difficult to demonstrate the levels of experience that you have. Instead, look to show that you possess the kind of qualities that they are looking for in other areas of your life. Show commitment, in talking about any volunteer work that you’ve done for example, or passion and drive in something which you enjoy doing. This way, you’ll stand out as possessing the attributes that they need.


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