Hiring managers may interview dozens of potentially qualified candidates when looking to fill a position, and it isn’t always easy to stand out from that crowd. Certain pieces of interview advice are well-known, making it hard to differentiate yourself based on points like explaining how your skills would benefit the company or having a firm handshake.
So, what characteristics do you need to display to demonstrate you are an ideal choice for a position? Aside from having the right skills and experience, here are the traits that can make you memorable amongst a sea of applicants.
Some of the most common interview questions and prompts, including “can you tell me a little about yourself” and “what is your greatest weakness,” are actually designed to see if you have the ability to evaluate your capabilities in a meaningful way. Additionally, it helps determine if you will be honest about your strengths and your shortcomings.
Strong candidates will be able to provide thoughtful responses to questions such as these. Additionally, they will demonstrate that they know themselves well and that they understand where they need to improve.
While rehearsing some of your interview responses can help you keep your answers polished, don’t feel like you need to hide all of your humanity. In the end, interviewers hire a person, not just a set of skills and experiences. If the only things that matter are who you are on paper, then interviews wouldn’t be necessary.
That means being likable is just as important as anything else, and you can’t build a rapport without displaying some of your personality. So, abandon the robot persona and don’t be afraid to act natural. You’re more likely to be seen as warm and genuine if you don’t stress over maintaining a sense of perfection with every response. And, if the interview considers you friendly, they may be more inclined to hire you for the position.
Another benefit of avoiding overly canned responses is you can exhibit a level of enthusiasm regarding your chosen career field and the potential of the position. Most candidates work at being fairly restrained throughout the interview, but demonstrating some excitement can make you seem more personable, and may even inspire some enthusiasm in the interviewer, especially in regards to offering you the position.
Often, enthusiasm is somewhat contagious, and it is a feeling we all enjoy. So, express how happy you are to be considered for the position in a genuine way, and you’ll leave a more favorable impression.
If you didn’t possess the qualifications the employer was looking for, you wouldn’t be interviewing for the position. So, having a level of confidence in those skills is critical. When answering questions about your experience, don’t be afraid to stand behind your abilities. Failing to do so may leave the interviewing wondering if your abilities were exaggerated on your application, or at least makes you seem unsure.
Additionally, make sure to make eye contact while you answer, and don’t be afraid to smile while talking. And, if you are sure your skills can meet their needs, convey that in your responses.
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