Want to truly shine during a job interview? Sure, there are always basic reminders like arriving on time and looking incredibly polished, but if you want to go above and beyond to stand out from other candidates, try flexing your interview muscles with these three tips.
1. Ask for an office tour. Go ahead and ask to peruse the hallowed halls of cubicle nation. Express your interest in the company and don’t be shy in asking to take a stroll. We’re not talking five mile walks around the corridors, mind you. Instead, take a few minutes with your interviewer to see where he or she sits. The motive, you see, is to check out the corporate culture.
If you happen to be interviewing at the end of the day, say close to 6 p.m., see if everyone looks like they’re still grinding out work at their desks. Or, maybe they’ve left for the day.
On another note, is the office loud or quiet? Does it seem to be buzzing with creativity or is everyone pigeonholed at their desks? You can learn a lot about the company’s culture by observing.
2. Ask insightful questions. In addition to asking essential questions like why the position is available and where the department is headed in terms of growth the next five years, dig deeper. Do research on your interviewers’ backgrounds on LinkedIn as well as their bios on the company website.
Also, look in the press room section of the site to find out the latest and greatest headlines of the company. During the interview, go there — ask why they’ve been in the news about a certain topic even if it is controversial. After all, you’re looking for answers, you’re interviewing them and technically it shows that you’re knowledgeable and in the know.
Ask the interviewer how long he or she has been there and what their most satisfying project has been. If you ask one of our go-to questions about why they like working there, guaranteed they’ll say it’s due to the people. So, go for something related like what makes them happy at work and why they continue to work there — what keeps them there? What keeps them motivated?
3. Wear something colorful. Appearance is everything and since you never get a second chance to make a first impression, make that first impression count. Even if the culture is chill and you want to sport a suit, go ahead but be sure to wear something that pops.
Whether it’s a fire engine red scarf or purple tie, chances are you’ll be easily remembered. When interviewers meet with multiple candidates during the day, it’s easy to sometimes get them mixed up in retrospect.
When they reconvene later on that day or even a few days later, avoid getting mixed in with the group. Of course, we’d like to think it’s your valuable experience and intuitive answers that got noticed but in the end the interviewers will likely say something like, “Who was the person wearing the black suit with that bright yellow tie? Yeah, let’s bring him back for another round.”