6 Recruiter-Tested Tips for Standing Out
A handful of the people I get to interview absolutely shine. What are their secrets? Amazingly, it boils down to using a little charm ~ taking authentic interest in both the job opportunity and the people with whom they’re interviewing.
What they do differently:
- They use their manners (please & thank you, and they’re on time).
- They do their research. Not just the superficial kind, like what the company does and its revenue numbers. These people have a ready answer for WHY they want to work here. You can too: Google ‘press releases’ & follow threads. Look at Glassdoor. Review the company’s LinkedIn profile. See who you know that works there. Check out key leaders (in addition to the ones you’re meeting).
The best-prepared candidate I ever had the pleasure of interviewing did this: she aligned her desire to work for an innovative company with specific data and examples of what my employer has been doing to innovate. She was well-prepared, articulate, asked great questions, and wasn’t afraid to laugh a bit.
She was a knockout, and we hired her from overseas on the basis of a couple of really great calls. Whether it’s on the phone or in person, take a genuine interest in the person (people) you’re talking to.
My star candidate noted that I love to travel, an interest she shares. Review your interviewers’ LinkedIn profile(s) before you speak with them. See if you have common connections or interests.
- They ask good questions in the interview (because they are also interviewing the company, in a charming and gracious way).
- If it’s a phone interview, they answer the call like they would at work (ie. an energetic ‘Hi, this is x’).I’m amazed at how many people answer the phone FOR A SCHEDULED INTERVIEW with ‘Hello’? They know it’s going to be an interview, and still they sound like they were sleeping when they picked up.Also, stand up for the first part of your phone interview. You’ll automatically sound more compelling. And SMILE once in awhile ~ people can hear it.
- They treat whoever’s at the front desk kindly. At Robert Half, I used to ask our receptionist how people treated her. You’d be amazed at how many weren’t very nice. When I pick someone up from the front to take them to their interview, I notice when they remember to say ‘thank you’ to our receptionist.Also (this is so common-sense I almost didn’t include it, except it happened again this week): KNOW your interviewer’s first and last names so the front desk doesn’t need to figure out who you’re there to see.True ‘from the front’ recruiting story: a leadership candidate came in yesterday to interview. She asked for‘Scott’. No last name. Don’t be that person.
- They follow up with a well-crafted ‘thank you’ email referencing something unique ~ maybe a shared laugh from the interview or a common interest that popped up. Send it within 24 hours. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant.
Put each of these tips into practice &
you’ll stand out, too!
Wondering how to polish your professional brand?
Here’s a link to my calendar for a free 15-minute brainstorming session.