Finding ways to stand out from the competition has never been as important, especially in today’s job seeking climate.

And whilst it is widely known that interview preparation is a skill, even the most experienced candidates overlook the importance of research, preparation and mastering the basics.


So how can you distance yourself from the competition? Get inside the interviewer’s mind, find out what they’re looking for and deliver the goods – that’s how.

Did you know..?

1. An interviewer will make their mind up about you in the first few minutes
2. They may have looked on your online profiles before you step foot in the room
3. Some will deliberately sit higher than you to put you on edge
4. If you’re the right person for the job, there’s always room to negotiate
5. Some interviewers are more nervous than you

What can you do to give yourself the edge?

The biggest mistake job hunters are guilty of is not being fully prepared. Career resources will tell you that research is the passport to success; and they’re right. What they fail to mention, however, is what tools to use, and the areas to identify.

Your first step should be finding out as much as you can about the company. It’s simple to visit the corporate website, memorise the ‘about us’ section and regurgitate this in an interview setting, but employers want more than this. They want you to impress them with your knowledge of the company’s market share, its competitors, its corporate structure and even its share prices.

Plan your way to success

To ensure the interview goes smoothly, create a pre-interview checklist comprising the small details that can make a huge difference.

A week before, set aside some time to find out: where the office is, the name of your interviewer, the office’s number (just in case) and whether you are required to sit one or two interviews. This should reduce the chance of any hiccups.

The interview

Body language is everything. On the most basic level, you should ensure to maintain eye contact, sit upright and be interested in your interviewer’s input. But in an interview setting, this is only the beginning.

Think about paralanguage. Nonverbal content is just as important as your pitch, so maintain a level of self-awareness and ensure you’re an equal contributor to the conversation.

The journey afterwards

A few days after the interview, if you haven’t heard back already, request feedback, either from the interviewer or the recruiting manager.

What you do with this information can inform future opportunities. So many people underestimate the importance of acting upon feedback; they fail to recognise the information is their own personal SWOT analysis.

When going for an interview, don’t try to be the perfect candidate – just make sure you’re better than the competition. It’s impossible to be a prospective employer’s ideal candidate, so make sure to stay true to yourself and be realistic about the situation.