Career Corner: Ways to Stand Out in Your Next Job Interview

Avoid Talking About What You’re Not

In her video, “Christine vs. Work: How to Answer the Question, ‘Tell Me About Yourself?’”, Christine Liu speaks to expert Joel Schwartzberg about what it takes to craft a thoughtful response.

Schwartzberg explains that sharing too many bits of information about yourself can leave the hiring manager with a lot of details but an unclear picture of who you are. Only focus on telling them who you really are. Here are some tips on how to do that confidently:

Write down your personality traits and connect them back to the skills required for the job.

Ask yourself: What does the company value? What are my strengths? How can I draw a connection between those two things? For example, maybe you love teamwork and the company values collaboration.

Practice making your point in a confident, clear, and simple way. In the mirror or to a friend, talk about the traits you identified and explain how they relate to what the company is looking for.

Tell a Story About Yourself

During a job interview, you’re going to be asked questions about your past work experiences, as well as your strengths and growth areas. Most of these will be phrased situationally. For example: How did you overcome a challenge in a previous role?; Tell me about a time when you handled a high pressure scenario; How do you balance multiple projects at once?

According to author Kelsey Schurer, telling a powerful, personal story is the best way to answer these tough questions. In her article, “Applying for a Job Internally? Here’s How to Stand Out.”, Schurer explains that personal narratives are a powerful way to capture the attention of any audience. If done well, a great story can help the interviewer see your values, skills, and purpose through a more intimate lens.

Don’t Hide Who You Are

In her article, “3 Ways to Figure Out If a Company Really Values Diversity,” author Risha Grant explains that the right company for you is one that appreciates your differences and makes space for you. Too often, we try to “fit into” an organization’s idea of who they think we are. But that’ not sustainable. Our differences help us bring new ideas to the table, share fresh insights that others may not be able to tap into, and give the organization a fresh perspective on their own policies.

Whether you wear a turban or sport a beard because it’s important to your culture or spiritual beliefs, or whether you have tattoos and piercings that are important to your self-identity — don’t hide who you are for anyone. If a prospective employer doesn’t respect your uniqueness, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Pose Thoughtful Questions to Your Hiring Manager

When you’re looking for a new job, you may spend a lot of time thinking about the role and responsibilities you’re likely to take on. However, author Shane Hatton, in his article, “5 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job,” writes that a company’s culture will define most of your experience in a new role.

To identify a healthy company culture, Hatton suggests asking these five questions during a job interview:

How would your team members describe their relationships with one another at work?

How do people give each other feedback on this team?

How often do you see and hear from the senior leaders of the business?

How do you measure success on your team?

Could you share an example of a recent project that the team worked on? What went well, and what didn’t?

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