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5 Ways to Exceed in an Interview

04-February-2018 23:41
in Learning & Development
by Alex Barrow

Applying for a new job is a long, often tedious task, and can be frustrating when it appears you are making no clear headway. In a competitive professional sphere, it’s often not what you know, but how you go above and beyond to benefit your role. In today’s professional space, the skill sets and knowledge of prospective candidates gives rise to a higher degree of competition. The trick to standing out is variable person to person, and job to job. However, these tips will guide you towards excelling in an interview, and gaining the job you’re applying to.


  1. Expand your skills through different avenues – Some skills you can’t, or don’t, necessarily use or need in your current position, or haven’t utilised in previous positions. Proactively search for avenues to ‘stretch’ your skills. For example, if you haven’t had a leadership opportunity at your previous job, but know that you’re capable of demonstrating those skills, use hobbies or groups as a way of branching out. Organise and captain a sport team, lead a book club or organise a charity/volunteer activity.


  1. Take a course. Whether you need to refresh, update, or learn completely new skills, there are plenty of courses tailored to all needs. Showing this kind of initiative and taking the time outside of your day-to-day job to increase your abilities will demonstrate to employers your resourcefulness and commitment to your profession.


  1. Develop your professional network. LinkedIn is an obvious start point and, depending on your industry, there are often plenty of niche platforms to network within your particular professional sphere. However, nothing shows your best side quite like human interaction. Keep an eye out for networking events. Often when it comes to finding a new job, it’s who you know just as much as what you know. You never know who you’re going to meet.


  1. Proactive preparation for your interview. So you’ve done the generic research of the company, checked out a few LinkedIn profiles and have researched some standard questions to ask. But what are you going to do to shine above your peers? Actively preparing offers of change or discussing what you could bring to the company to genuinely improve it proves to your interviewers that you’re not only thoroughly prepared, but that you’ve taken the initiative to put yourself in the mindset of the role and the company.


  1. Listen. The old saying “two ears, one mouth” became well known for a reason. Your interviewers will pick up on your ability to listen to a question and to articulate a meaningful, well-thought answer. Don’t rush to respond to a question, make sure you’re clear on what they’re asking and answer with confidence.


Dependant on your industry and role, there is room for flexibility with these tips, and in some sectors, these can be expanded upon or refined into smaller niche pockets of advice. The general concept is to go above and beyond, and to show why and how you stand out in your field. For extra advice, contact us at Granite Consulting for expert guidance on landing your dream job.