Speak Unique in Job Interviews

By London Porter
Author, Human Resources at Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

You’ve landed that job interview, now you’re preparing for your big chance to impress…here are some tips!

As someone who sits on the other side of that desk, I can assure you that your human resources interviewer is hoping that you are the candidate they have been searching for. Nothing makes me happier than finding that just right person to fill a position. Here are a few tips and resources to help you on your journey!

1. Be Memorable by Being Prepared.
Get a great night’s sleep the night before. Do your company research (LinkedIn.com, Glassdoor.com), know the position, and be ready to share your top three skills that are relevant to this role. Bring multiple copies of your résumé. Practice clear and concise reasons why you want to work for this organization. Tell them what you bring, not what they can do for you. Watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, “Power Pose,” on YouTube for further tips.

2. Be an Aggressive Listener.
Lean in, listen closely to others, make eye contact, smile, and nod your head when you like what was said. Write down the names of anyone you meet and notate interesting points that you can include in your thank you letter.

3. Discover the Pain. Be Curious.
Look for clues as to how this vacant position is causing lost productivity. What tasks are not getting done? Who is lassoed with picking up the slack? Is the organization losing money, production time, customer loyalty, etc.? Be clear on how your skills and experience can be a potential solution to their pain.

4. Show Me vs. Tell Me.
What examples or stories can you share that demonstrate your industry knowledge, mentor relationships, and/or real world experience that they will find valuable or interesting? Take time to think about your experiences with conflict resolution, customer service, accepting feedback, and time management, to name a few.

5. Zero A, B, C-ing.
There should be Zero Accusing, Blaming, or Complaining escaping your lips. If they ask your approach to managing difficult people or situations, be ready with a sincere answer or example that shows your positive approach to solving problems.

6. Speak Up.
Have some prepared questions that show you have viewed their website, understand who their competition might be. If something in the conversation sparks your interest, don’t hesitate to jump in and ask them to tell you more about it. Genuine interest in their company and needs will be noticed and appreciated!

7. Be Grateful and Mindful.
It’s OK if you’re a little nervous, everyone has been there (including your interviewer). Ask for clarification and examples if you’re unsure about a topic. Do your best to answer questions thoughtfully and confidently. You’ve got this! Be mindful not to overstay your allotted time, sincerely thank your host(s) for their time and consideration, and ask for their business card(s). Then email a thank you note that same day, or the next at the latest.

8. Need More Career Advice?
Visit your nearest library branch or check out our website for books and eResources to guide you along your career path.

Best of luck to you!

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