Stand out from the crowd in an interview: get personal!
This year (in the debacle that has been 2020) I have recruited and interviewed dozens of candidates. When you are applying for professional roles outside of uni, the recruiters you are interacting with may have read hundreds or even thousands of cover letters, or watched thousands of video interviews. So outside of the usual advice to demonstrate soft skills, how do you stand out and get noticed, while simultaneously showing you can fit in with their workplace culture? My best advice is to:
Stay true to yourself, and reflect your communication style and values
If humour is a tool you use in your daily life, you may like to reflect that in a professional and respectful way during your video or face to face interview. That being said, it’s probably best to leave it out of a cover letter, as you often need non-verbal communication to pull it off and have the joke land.
Demonstrate very clearly why you want the role
Saying things like “I have been unable to socialise during lockdown so I want this role to meet people” may be true and a shared experience we are all living right now. However, you would meet new people at any role or opportunity. What recruiters want to hear is that you understand the primary objectives of their organisation and that you share their values, so tailor your answers to reflect that.
Don’t be afraid to share a little personal information when you get the “tell us about yourself” question
This is the one time during the video or face to face interview where your personal life in on the table. Many students have received advice to formulate a very professional answer to this question that demonstrates good soft skills, however, at times this can come off a bit robotic if it is only about academia and internships. Select a few pieces of personal information that you are truly comfortable with sharing, and can keep personal but professional.
No shoe fits every foot, but if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd when interviewing, try these three simple things and watch yourself flourish.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Sarah Graham
Sarah Graham is the Community Coordinator at UTS Careers, and loves how her role with the Peer Network allows her to cry-laugh while swapping hilarious travel stories with people from all over the world.