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What to Say in an Interview to Stand Out

by Billie Nordmeyer, studioD

Your relationships with a company’s employees and your degrees or certifications will affect the impression you make with a hiring manager. But even if you have stellar credentials and are well suited to a position, what you say during an interview might decide if you receive a job offer. From the employer’s perspective, “what you say” includes your body language, the extent that your comments and questions are thorough and creative, your level of interest in a position and your interpersonal skills.

Convey Interest in the Job

You communicate your interest in a job and company by relating your skills, knowledge and experience to the functions you’ll perform if hired to assume a particular work role. Read the job description and the required skills and education carefully to understand the purpose of the job and the goals the successful applicant must achieve. It’s also important to place the role in its business context by researching the company, its industry and the business processes the work role supports. Visiting the company’s website and social media profiles are helpful in this regard. It might be beneficial to think in terms of challenges the business or industry faces if the hiring manager interviews you using the case- or behavior-based style.

Express Ideas with Appropriate Comments

Your prospects of receiving a job offer will improve if you familiarize yourself with interview styles, such as behavior- or case-based interviews. For example, you might practice describing situations and providing examples to illustrate how you’ve used leadership skills in the past or how you might solve a particular problem. By understanding the aims of specific interview styles and developing comments and questions well suited to these styles, you decrease the likelihood you’ll be caught speechless during the interview. More importantly, by formulating your responses in advance, it’s likely you’ll say the right thing – namely, effectively conveying your skills, experience and suitability for a job.

Send Right Message with Interpersonal Skills

George Bradt writes in “Forbes” that a hiring manager interviews a candidate to decide if you can do a job, if you’ll love the job, and if he and other members of the company will be able to work with you. Being personable and respectful throughout the interview process will ace question number three. Staying positive about previous employers and co-workers, and interacting with the hiring manager and other employees in a positive way is the goal. It’s also important to consider your probable fit with the corporate culture to ensure a future clash won’t lead to your dismissal or departure.

Communicate with Appropriate Body Language

Making and holding eye contact says you want to make a connection with an interviewer and that you are confident. But, according to the “Forbes” article “The 10 Worst Body Language Mistakes to Make in an Interview,” you will communicate an aggressive nature if you use pointing and chopping hand movements to emphasize the points you make verbally.The article also suggests that a job applicant should limit nodding head motions and nervous body movements, and attempt to match facial expressions with your tone of voice.

About the Author

Billie Nordmeyer works as a consultant advising small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on performance improvement initiatives, as well as SAP software selection and implementation. During her career, she has published business and technology-based articles and texts. Nordmeyer holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting, a Master of Arts in international management and a Master of Business Administration in finance.

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