How to Eclipse Your Competition at a Job Interview

Have you ever experienced that feeling of overwhelming uncertainty when you are waiting to hear back from a company after your second interview? You know that it is between you and one other person. Both of you have the same skill set and background experience, and the employer is making a decision at this very moment.


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    The Custom Resume Portfolio: Design a customized resume 'portfolio' for each person interviewing you. Spare no expense here. Build each of your portfolios with a dynamite cover page and tailor it to the specific interviewer. You want it to look like it was made especially for that person, so you will have to find out their names in advance. Your portfolio should contain the 'deluxe' version of your resume, accompanied by all of the necessary documents your future employer would need. Include copies of your degree, combined with duplicates of any special certificates and awards you may have received. Enclose any additional material, such as diagrams, drawings or any project summaries. Use professional style formatting, line art and the appropriate fonts to make your portfolio look like it was designed to sell a new BMW. Lastly, crown your portfolio with a sharp looking professional report cover. Now, imagine the contrast. At your interview, you will slide this personalized portfolio across the table to the person sitting on the other side, while your competition will offer up a stapled xerox copy of their two-page resume.
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    Remember and use the names of the people that are interviewing you. This is very powerful. You'd be surprised at the number of people that forget a person's name just after meeting them. Forgetting someone's name is basically telling that person, "You are not important enough for me to remember." Remembering and using someone's name has the exact opposite effect, where instead you are telling that person, "You are very important to me, so important, that I will make it a point to remember your name." It's a psychological fact that people love to hear their own name. Use this to your advantage to create a positive anchor about you in the mind of your interviewer. The tactful use of first names during a job interview shows that you are a person who will go above and beyond.
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    Research the Company! Before you go in for your interview, put in some extra effort to research and discover some key facts about the company. Memorize the company's mission statement. Learn all you can about what they do. Seek information from their public press releases as a means to ask your interviewer intelligent questions. Use this information in your answers, weaving in what you know about that company when appropriate. What happens next is amazing! Your potential employer will pick up on your genuine interest in them, and your sincerity will tip the scale in your favor! It takes some intense homework and memorization to do this, but it will pay you back. Remember, while your competition is asking the interviewer about vacation pay, you'll be asking about the write-up you saw in Forbes on their most recent innovation.
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    The Premier Thank You:To top off your interview with class, immediately after your interview, mail a thank you note to your interviewer(s). Not just any plain old thank you note will do, because that is what your competition is doing. Write your thank you note on a professional high quality card and be sure to write it in your finest penmanship! Make the body of your message effective. Write something that relays your sincere gratitude for the interview opportunity that was just given to you.


  • The strategies above represent one grain of sand of an entire beach of potential ideas. There are so many things you can do to demonstrate your willingness to serve on a higher level. Tap into your imagination and brainstorm more ways through which you can clearly demonstrate that you and your work are indeed a cut above the rest. This is crucial in not just the interview process, but long after you have been hired. The willingness to go above and beyond not only gives you exactly what you need to completely eclipse your competition during an interview, but it will create an impenetrable Lay off shield for you in the long run!

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Categories: Interview Skills