If you’ve been out of the job interview game for a while, jumping back in is intimidating. Should you emphasize your title? What relevant skills matter most? Where do you start? Whether you’re an accomplished job applicant or a newbie, here are tips for standing out from the crowd:
Focus on results and accomplishments, not functions. If you give a title on your resume or during your interview, the people interviewing you will generally know what your day-to-day process is like. What interviewers really want to know is what you accomplished while you were in the positions you’ve held.
Employers are looking for problem solvers. When an employer asks you how you would handle a problem at work, don’t respond to the hypothetical question. Instead, draw from your own experience to respond. This shows you know the right answer and that you have the experience needed to solve similar problems.
Be the one who increases your employer’s profitability. Most employers will hire the candidate who will increase their bottom line. How will your results and past experience help your future employer? Framing your responses in this context will help employers see your immediate financial benefit to the company.
Prepare in-depth questions. Simple questions about the industry or what the company is about won’t cut it. To really rock an interview, you’ll need to do in-depth research and commit the information to heart. This will provide a double benefit by showing off both your research skills and your level of interest in the company.
Write it down. Don’t be afraid to take notes into an interview. They show you are prepared for the interview and that you’re serious about showing you’re the best candidate. Write down questions you want to ask so you don’t go blank when it’s your turn to interview them.
Practice, practice, practice. Whether it’s in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member, practicing is the best way to prepare. Review the information and have someone ask you questions so you can have a prepared response. It may be uncomfortable to rehearse like this, but you’ll be glad you did when it prevents you from breaking into a cold sweat during the interview.
Whether your last job interview was six months ago or six or more years, these six steps will help your application rise to the top of the pile.
Taylor Cotterell is EVP of executive search and recruiting firm NaviTrust. Readers can reach him at NaviTrust.com or @headhunterinUT.