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April 24, 2015

Impress at your next interview – Do something the others aren’t!

After more years spent in recruitment than we care to remember you’ll forgive us for sometimes feeling like we’ve seen it all before when it comes to interviews. Sometimes however, a candidate does something out of the ordinary and really stands out, and guess what, they almost always get the job!

We’re not talking turning up dressed as batman here, but something pertinent to the company you are visiting and something that takes an amount of forethought and paints you in the best possible light. To what level factors other than skills and experience influence the decision will clearly vary from company to company, but it’s clear that there is more to the decision making process than box ticking of skills and qualifications. So what have we seen work well in the past?

–    An informal presentation. A few slides on a tablet computer of a recent project, your involvement in your team or a piece of work you are particularly proud.

–   Follow up with an email or additional information. Thank the interviewers for their time directly, provide further thoughts on what was discussed or endeavour to counter potential reservations.

–   Leave them with something to digest after you have gone. A few paragraphs comparing your CV to the job spec, some references and their contact details or a portfolio of your work.

–   Ask questions the client doesn’t expect. Be bold! The interviewer’s background, that article you read, last year’s financial report, try to ask something they have never heard before.

–   Demonstrate an unprecedented level of preparation. We’ve seen a candidate learn the basics of an entirely new programming language for an interview, a little extreme perhaps, but he was the  head and shoulders the favourite on the day.

–   Testimonials or references from their current suppliers. Have you worked with or supplied the same companies as your interviewers? Go out of your way and get a recommendation from someone they know.

Of course there is no way of guaranteeing success in an interview, and if you do decide to try any of the above it will always require a certain amount of time invested. Success or not, what’s sure is that a bit of extra time an energy really can make all the difference, and even if things do not work out this time you’re sure to be remembered!