With so many people having the same qualifications or similar experiences, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. The key is not trying to be “different” but simply seeking to be more of yourself.
So here are some top tips for interviews.
Know how you add value
Most people will be able to tell you their strengths but what employers are really after is how you can add more value. Look at your strengths, your past experience and the way you approach your work to determine what it is that you can contribute specifically to the role and organisation. If it’s not clear from the job description, ask about the key challenges the team is currently facing and then show what you can bring to resolve these issues.
Understand your cultural fit
Skills, experiences and strengths are all important, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever get offered a job on these alone. Recruiting managers will want to be sure that you will mesh with the team and organisation, so cultural fit is critical. Do your research on the organisational values, behaviours and vision and get clear on how these align with your own values and the type of company you want to work for. This way when you get asked why you want to work for a particular organisation, your answer will come across as much more authentic and sincere.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Interviews are a two-way process so asking questions during the interview not only helps you to come across as interested and engaged, but also allows you to find out if the role and company are really what you’re looking for. Try ending the interview by asking the interviewers what they would look for in a successful candidate. Their response will give you a clear picture of the type of person they are looking for, allowing you to then share any extra information you may have missed to convince them that you have everything they want.
Be clear on your development areas
People are often worried about sharing their areas for development, but if there are parts of the role that will challenge you then be honest. Raise this during the interview and offer your ideas on potential solutions, such as training or job-shadowing. This will show employers that you are keen to learn and develop, that you are not afraid of stretching yourself and that you have the foresight to recognise where you need support rather than brushing over any weakness. Plus it also gives you the opportunity to see how keen the company is to support and develop you further.
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