Your professional resume and polished cover letter were enough to get you in the door, but what happens after you land an interview? As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nowhere is that adage more true than in an interview. While it may be impossible to anticipate every question you may be asked, you can do a few things to stand out from the crowd.
1. Come prepared. Know your resume and your work history, inside and out. Be able to relate your past employment to the position for which you are applying. Have at least one question ready to ask the interviewer when it comes to the inevitable, “Do you have any questions for us?” It shows the position is important to you and that you planned ahead.
2. Deal with setbacks. Address in a straightforward manner any gaps in your work history or jobs from which you might have quit or been let go. Your interviewer has already noticed them. Having a well-thought out answer will make you look both professional and dependable. That being said, however…
3. Avoid the urge to overshare. Are you taking care of a sick parent, dealing with a difficult divorce, or have a car you can’t rely on? Don’t give out personal details that make you look unreliable. These will only set you back to the bottom of the stack. Remember, it’s an interview, not a therapy session.
These few steps, along with dressing professionally, being friendly and polite, can help you stand out from the rest and take the next step towards your success.