knowing what to do to set yourself apart from other candidates during job interviews can be challenging.
Often, it’s not enough to demonstrate your passion for the opportunity since everyone else will be doing the same thing.
There are other ways to ensure you’re highlighting yourself as the top choice for the job at hand beyond the obvious.
Here are some of our top tips.
deliver a great elevator pitch
When you want to make a positive initial impression on a hiring manager, you’ll need to put together a strong elevator pitch that concisely highlights your background, skills, training, development and where you want to go in the future.
You’ll likely get the chance to use it, as one of the interview questions will inevitably be “tell me something about yourself.”
According to career coach Nancy Collamer, an elevator pitch should answer three questions:
- What do you do?
- What are you looking for?
- Once you’ve used this formula to establish the start of your answer, you should focus on your USP.
Tell them how your skills and experience will help the organisation achieve its goals; the more specific you can be, the better.
Think about why you’re looking for a new job and use that to inform your pitch.
Are you seeking more responsibilities or want to make the world a better place?
Ensure the interviewer knows why their organisation is where you can see yourself thriving and adding significant value.
infuse testimonials into your job interview answers
What’s one of the most valuable ways to lend credibility to your words?
It is highlighting what someone else said about you. This is why you should include a testimonial from a manager or senior colleague to back up what you’re saying about your abilities or experience.
It can take the form of praise you received after delivering a project ahead of schedule or a particularly positive comment that was said to you during an appraisal.
Telling an interviewer that your boss has complimented you numerous times on your project management abilities when discussing your most significant strengths will reinforce your claims.
Buyers want to know that they’re making the right choice when purchasing, which is why they seek product reviews. Consider including testimonials in your answers to provide reviews of your abilities to interviewers, letting them make an informed decision about you.
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use your speech to highlight yourself as top talent
It would be best if you were speaking in a certain way. LinkedIn has discovered that high performers use specific terms when discussing themselves and their achievements.
So being aware of this could help boost your standing in the eyes of an interviewer.
LinkedIn has found that answers from high performers contain around 60 per cent more first-person pronouns (I, me, we) than those given by low performers. Meanwhile, low performers give answers with roughly 400 per cent more second-person pronouns (you, your) and about 90 per cent more third-person pronouns (he, she, they).
- High performers use the past tense more often, typically recounting examples they’re drawing on to impress the interviewer.
- Low performers tend to speak more in the present and future tense.
For example, a quiet performer might discuss what they would do in a potential situation rather than explaining what they have done in the past. Make sure not to speak in hypotheticals - provide the hiring manager with concrete information on how you have handled certain situations in the past.
make the interview a conversation
Sitting in front of someone who significantly impacts your future makes it easy to let nerves get hold of you and affect your behaviour. However, it would be best if you tried to connect with your interviewer, as this could be why you’re chosen for the job over other candidates.
One of the most straightforward ways of doing so is turning the interview into a conversation.
According to talk show host and author Tavis Smiley, writing for the University of Phoenix, you can do this by asking questions early in the process. Instead of just waiting until the end of the interview to ask anything you’re curious about, which could result in a stilted interaction, respond to what the interviewer says with your questions.
He encourages job seekers to let the hiring manager set the tone but to follow up with a comment or question that digs deeper into the issue. He advises looking for “information in the interviewer’s answer to prompt your next question.” He also suggests asking open-ended interview questions to keep the conversation flowing.
Following these tips should polish your presentation skills, help you head into your interview in the right frame, and clarify what you need to do to impress the hiring manager.
It’s then down to you to draw on your abilities and experience to demonstrate that you’re exactly the person they need for the job