5 Unconventional Interview Tips: Make a Lasting Impression

During my days as a corporate recruiter, the majority of my time was spent interviewing people for jobs – thousands of phone interviews, hundreds of in-person interviews, and just as many post-interview meetings with hiring managers and executives to debrief on every candidate. Here are 5 things that candidates did in the interview process that left a lasting, positive impression on me:

1) They researched me & the company. Nothing is cooler than sitting down with someone I just met and they mention that they saw on Linkedin that I went to Virginia Tech and oh! they had a friend who went there – and what a great school it is (OK, I might have fabricated the last part). Yes, and what a proactive person you are for taking the time to get to know me before this meeting.

2) They chose their attire carefully. When someone dressed sharp for an interview, believe me, I noticed. It’s not about Gucci or Armani, it’s about showing that you care. When candidates dressed sharp, it showed me that they cared about the interview and making a good impression & that is just…awesome.

3) They shared positive experiences about previous employers or positions. As Thumper said, “If you can’t say anything nice…” well, you know the rest.

4) They listened just as much as they talked. Job interviews can be a lot like a first date, you have one chance to make a first impression. If you’ve ever been on a date where the other person is talking the entire time, you know that feeling when your eyes glaze over.  It doesn’t mean that the person talking doesn’t have anything interesting to say, it’s just so much more enjoyable when the person listening is given the opportunity to reciprocate; to respond and share feedback.

5) They say my name. As one author wrote, “When you use someone’s name in a conversation, you are pulling that tag of theirs. You are making them turn towards you every time their name is mentioned.” Not entirely sure what I mean? Try it. Next time you are in a conversation, say the other person’s name a few times. It’s amazing to watch how it pulls them back into the conversation or keeps them engaged if they are already listening. Saying the name of the interviewer also shows them that you remembered it, which means you were listening.

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