One of the best advantages you can give yourself when you are looking for a job is to minimize competition. From there, it is doing things a little different in your interview and interview preparation can demonstrate you have some unique qualities you will bring to your new employer.
Here are three things you can do to be interview brilliant.
- Create your own opportunity- most people scour job postings for those that match their backgrounds and interests when it’s time to make a change. Don’t. Most postings are garbage- they are old, expired, with positions been long filled and if the posting is real and current, there are tons of applicants and tons of competition. Do this and be interview brilliant- do some research and find companies you like, companies where you could add value, figure out who would most likely be your boss and call her! Introduce yourself, tell her exactly why you are calling, that you’d be interested in working at the company and for her and why. There….you now have no competition.
- Do some crazy homework- don’t rely exclusively on a company webpage, press releases, financial or analyst reports to prepare for your interview. If you want to be interview brilliant, pick up the phone and make some strategic calls to get inside information. Call people who currently work at the company and to people who have left. Ask questions about what it’s like working there, the company culture, what they like and don’t like. If you’re really clever, call someone who currently works for your interviewer (and future boss). Why? Because that person will tell her you called and asked what it was like working for her, what she likes, what she doesn’t. You continue be creative, smart and an outside-the-box thinker. Good job.
- Finally, don’t underestimate the little things. It is amazing how few people do simple things like tell the interviewer you want the job (people want to hire people who want to be there), dress the part- look sharp or demonstrate courtesy (and common sense) of sending a thank-you note. That little courtesy of a short note of appreciation for the time and consideration can be the difference between getting an offer and losing out on an opportunity.