If you want to win the job, you need to show up to your interview prepared. You need a proactive approach that basically forces the interviewer to offer you the job by the end of the interview. And in order to do that, you have to really wow them!
Simple Ways to Impress Your Interviewer
When you apply for a job, there’s an entire process with multiple moving parts in play. And while it’s difficult to pin your success or failure on a single element, the job interview is clearly the most critical component.
A good interview can overcome a weak resume. Likewise, a bad interview can ruin your chances of getting the job, even if you have the most impressive resume in the stack.
The question is, what constitutes a good interview? Put simply, you must impress the interviewer. And here’s how you make that happen:
1. Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Go into a job interview having done extensive research on the company, the position, and any related details. You can grab a ton of information from the company’s website, blog, social media pages, and YouTube channel. You can also do some Google research to discover competitors, read reviews, etc.
Another good trick is to get on the company’s email list so that you’re receiving regular updates. This allows you to keep your finger on the company’s pulse and identify which topics, products, and services are priorities for them. Casually weave this information into your questions and answers.
If you really want to impress the interviewer, compile some of your research and insights into colorful PDFs that synthesize what you’ve learned. Include a few of your ideas for the company and how you could help bring those ideas to fruition in this position.
Here’s a good script to use when handing over the documents: “Hey! I brought a couple of reports that I generated for the company. It’s got some different ideas that I think would [insert benefit]. I know you’ve got some questions for me, but if we have a couple of minutes at the end of our discussion, I’d love to walk you through a couple of them.”
2. Create Your Own Book
Most of the other candidates interviewing for the job are going to show up with a paper resume and maybe a cover letter. You can totally wow your interviewers by showing up with a hardcover printed book with your resume, some ideas for the company, and a portfolio of past work. It might take several hours to put together (and $5 or $10 to print), but you’ll get a huge ROI. If you’re uncertain of how many people will be interviewing you, print four or five copies.
3. Ask the Right Questions
While you’ll be the one answering most of the questions in the interview, you should also be asking your fair share. Here are several good questions that will impress the interviewer:
- What does a typical day look like for someone in my position?
- What projects do you need to be addressed immediately?
- What are the company’s current goals for this quarter?
- What gets you most excited about the future of the company?
Try to ask questions that show you’re interested in the company and committed to generating long-term value. You want to show that you’re focused on moving the company forward – not just being another cog in the wheel.
4. Ask for the Job
A job interview is a two-way street (especially in this kind of job market where candidates have plenty of options to choose from). Never assume that an interviewer knows you want the job. Your mere presence doesn’t communicate your desire. It just shows that you’re open to the opportunity.
“Tell your interviewer you want the job — period,” IT recruiter Dana Fulbright says. “So many people leave without ever saying they want to be hired. It sounds so simple, but it‘s true. Let your employer know that you want to work there.”
People often think they’ll sound desperate, but expressing your desire for the job is important. It could be something as simple as speaking up at the end of the interview when they ask if you have any additional questions, concerns, or thoughts.
Say something like, “I’ve really enjoyed this interview and the whole process. Meeting with you today just confirmed what I already know – I really want this opportunity. The culture here is so attractive and I want to be a part of the long-term plans of this company. I can’t wait to hear your decision – I’m ready to start right away.”
Stand Out to Win the Interview
You can’t blend in and provide the same cliche interview responses as others. You must stand out and wow the interviewer to the point that they can’t possibly deny you the job.
In this article, we’ve given you several suggestions to run with. However, don’t limit yourself to these ideas. Get creative and try something fresh and new. You might swing a miss every now and then, but you’ll eventually land on something that works!