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How to Stand Out in the Interview Process

Posted on May 28, 2015 in Recruiting 101

There are a number of different ways that a candidate can set themselves apart from the pack. Some methods are subtle and salient, some are ‘common sense’, others are not as well known. Sometimes ‘common sense’, is not quite so common.
As a candidate seeking a new opportunity, your interaction and level of communication with your recruiter is critical in working as a team to ensure a smooth process, a nice fit and that everyone’s needs are being met. Tell your recruiter (hopefully because they think to ask), what motivates you, where you see your career going in the future and what criteria are your ‘deal breakers’, what makes a role compelling, what are you looking for in an organization, what is your timeline moving forward, what environment will you thrive in terms of scope and responsibility, etc. The clearer these points are going into the interview process and the more they are refined as you move along, the more smoothly the transition will be from phase to phase as you move closer to your new career.

Phone Interview

On the interview, if it is a phone call, be sure to be in a place with good cellular reception and be in a calm environment, free of distraction. Don’t take a phone interview lightly because it is a phone interview! Be cognizant of how much you are speaking and how much you are listening. Don’t monopolize the conversation and help facilitate a give and take, ebb and flow to the engagement. After the call, be sure to send a timely follow up ‘thank you’ note to the person with whom you’ve spoken, addressing specific points from your conversation that stood out and wrap up with prompting for next steps, if you so desire. Follow up with your recruiter after your call and fill them in, giving them a picture of how the interaction developed, your sentiments and interest level compared with other opportunities. How does this stack up? You should always be asking this and always communicating with your recruiter: what your level of interest is and how relative that interest level is with respect to your other opportunities.

In Person Interviews

When you get to the in person interview, stand out from the start and be immediately thinking ‘smile, eye contact, firm handshake’ almost like a mantra. It should be that natural, but is worth mentioning because this still matters, even in our digital age. Be sure to bring a few fresh copies of your resume, hiring managers consume those like candy! The same advice rings true in terms of facilitating a nice flow of exchange and end the meeting by requesting a business card, to utilize for follow up and a possible future connection down the road. I can’t stress this point enough that physically exchanging business cards is a difference maker, simply because most candidates drop the ball here.

You got an offer! Now what?

When it comes to the offer stage, go over your list of criteria and address them with your recruiter, be open and honest with regards to your salary expectations and requirements and work with your recruiter to help facilitate getting those needs met and keep in touch! Your recruiter can be a resource for you and your network for years to come and you can each enhance one another’s network and professional path to continued success!

You can check out Ian’s LinkedIn here!