Finding a job as a millennial is a tedious process that requires a frustrating amount of patience and persistence. But stay the course, keep sending out those applications, and you will land an interview.
With that said, preparing for a job interview can be stressful and, at times, a futile process. I would venture to argue that most of us have similar methods. We study the history of the firm as well as the fundamentals of the role but, lost in this seemingly endless amount of information to cram are the minute details that could potentially go a long way in separating ourselves from others. So, as a sequel to our Cover Letter Short List, The Success Bug presents our 3 Ways to Separate Yourself in a Job Interview.
1. BRING A PADFOLIO
For those of you who don’t know, a padfolio is a sort of notebook/folder/binder hybrid (you can purchase one on Amazon for cheap, here). What you might not know is that bringing one to your interview is an effective way to show a potential employer that you’re serious about landing a job. And that doesn’t mean merely holding it by your side the entire time and never opening it but instead using it to take careful notes after asking thoughtful questions. Which brings us to our next hack…
2. ASK THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS
Lost in the value of answering interview questions well is how important it is to ask them. At the end of an interview, almost 99 times out of 100, you will be asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” This segment will be your opportunity to show him/her how invested you are in the firm by asking thoughtful questions, and a great time to take notes of their responses in your padfolio as well. Now, not only are you exhibiting that you care about the role and the firm, but enough to write them down and reference later as well. Details like these are small but get noticed.
3. COMMON COURTESIES
What I’m going to list next are relatively common practices but often overlooked by many. Let’s break them down:
Stand up to greet the interviewer. These will seem nitpicky, but, as I mentioned, it’s the little things that can go a long way. Something as simple as having the courtesy to stand up and greet your interviewer with a firm handshake when he or she walks in can and often will help your chances.
Take time to think about your answers. This one is a personal tip of mine (not based on feedback from others, like all of these), but one that I think is notably valuable. The concept is simple. If you encounter a tricky question, ask for a moment to think about it. Seriously. “Do you mind if I take a second to think about that?” Don’t just say it, take this time to think about the question. Not only will you impress your interviewer, but the quality of your answer will improve by thinking it through.
Send a Thank You Email. The TYE. Another subtle yet essential detail that you should be sending after an interview. Always remember to ask for an email (or a business card, emails are almost always printed on them, and it is a subtler way to retrieve their information). Why? Two reasons.
- Your name is fresh in your interviewer’s head after, and a thank you email is another way to show that you care.
- People are doing it, and if you aren’t, then you’re (potentially) putting yourself at a disadvantage. Remember those TYEs!
Hopefully, at least two of these are tips you haven’t yet implemented into your interview routine because we think they go a long way.
As always, don’t forget to like and share this article if you felt it was helpful. We’d love to share these tips with as many people outside of the TSB community as possible! As a bonus, every person that shares this article and tags @The Success Bug on LinkedIn or Facebook will receive a TSB Exclusive Interview Hack List, with our more in-depth breakdown. Good luck!
- Bring a padfolio to your interview and use it to take notes when appropriate to stand out
- Ask thoughtful questions at the end of an interview to show that you have a sincere interest in the firm and role
- Stand up to greet an interviewer as they enter the room as a common courtesy
- Ask for a minute to think about tougher questions to impress an interviewer
- Send a Thank You Email after an interview to avoid placing yourself at a disadvantage