POSTED ON 26th November 2018 BY Debut app
Imagine interviewing 15 people for a job in one day. Aside from wanting to snap your company-branded pen by candidate seven because you’re bored out of your mind at the repetitivity of it all, you’ve also forgotten everyone so far and, frankly, don’t want to meet any of the next ones. Ah, screw it, let’s sack this interviewing off and stick with the team we already have - if we all share the work, we’ll only have to stay an extra hour each every night! WORTH IT.
Then the door opens. Enter ‘candidate stand-out’; someone different, someone interesting, someone who you want to hire. Why? Er… well, because you can’t remember anyone else you interviewed.
Mastering the art of standing out from the crowd is an amazing skill to have, not just for interviews but also for the rest of your career. Here are our tips to transform yourself from everyday interviewee to one-of-a-kind conversationalist who has an attention-commanding room presence.
Wear something memorable
This is so basic, we know. But think about it - what does everyone wear to an interview? Black/grey/beige/white… a combination of inoffensive colours that help you fade into the background. At Debut, we know it’s best to have at least one bright thing on you that’ll catch the eye of the interviewer - I mean, we launched a whole campaign around dressing for job interviews, Dress to Impress. They may not remember your name, but they WILL remember ‘the girl with the bedazzled trousers’. Because it’s physically impossible not to remember that.
Moral of the story: If someone looks totally forgettable, they will struggle to remember what happened in your interview and probably won’t consider you for the job. Give them something to focus on that immediately catches their eye.
Look at their instagram
Insta is a window into a company’s soul. And also a window into what it’s like to work there. Do your research - look at all their own photos and the ones they’ve been tagged in. You’ll likely be able to see their offices, where they’ve been on company trips, what’s the office culture like… find something on their instagram you like and can relate to and try to edge it subtly into the interview. It’ll not only show them that you have something in common with the way they work, but will also demonstrate that you’ve done some graft before meeting them. And don’t forget to follow them too (but obviously make sure all your own incriminating photos are archived - don’t let them see your crazy just yet).
Everyone has heard the ‘I’d say my biggest weakness is that I work too hard’. Not only clearly untrue but also completely out of date - a truly good creative employer should be an advocate of the 2018 ‘do whatever hours as long as you get the work done on time’ attitude. You need to be honest about what you’re like at work. ‘I’m not as much of a morning person as I’d like to be’ or ‘I’m obsessed with to-do lists’ or ‘I love having work drinks/it’s fun to hang out outside of work’ or ‘I find it easier to get stuff done if I listen to music’. Real-life, relatable work-traits are memorable because it’s almost guaranteed that someone in the office already is known for being the same/opposite and that will spark a connection in the interviewers minds. It’ll seem like you fit right in.
Know their competitors
Be aware of what their competitors are doing. Find out about new products they’ve launched, who’s ahead of the game, what’s the name of the new rival CEO… anything within the last 3 months that might be relevant. Do a google keyword search from the last 3 months of news and find out what the biggest stories are - if you’re able to bring it up in the interview, you’ll be demonstrating a superior level of knowledge not just of the company you’re interviewing at, but of the whole industry.
Google your interviewer(s)
This is a Debut favourite. If you find it hard to remember people’s names, search on linkedin for who’s in the department you’re interviewing for (and maybe HR if it’s a large company) and get an idea for who might be in the room when you’re pitching yourself. Steer clear of social stalking though and certainly don’t go down an insta-void. You don’t need to know what your future boss’ husband’s cousin’s best friend’s dog looks like. This is a categorical waste of your time.
Mention your passion
Ok, we don’t mean pottery or football. We do mean anything relevant to the political/economic/social climate though. If you’re an avid supporter of a specific charity/cause, or even if you’ve found yourself outraged about anything in the media recently, don’t be scared to mention it. Passion is memorable - and if you find yourself getting carried away in a rant, interrupt yourself and say ‘so sorry, I just find it sooo interesting I get carried away. I’m just sooo passionate about it’ and you’ll instantly go from mad activist to self-aware supporter of an under-recognised cause.
Send a follow up email
A oldey, but a goodey. Keep it short, sweet and to the point - but also don’t expect a reply. Always good to shove a light-hearted joke in to remind them how witty you are too.
Written by Debut App
Instagram - @debutcareers
Website - www.debut.careers