Interview Tips to Give You an Edge

You have revised your resume again and again, incorporated edits from advisers and perfected your cover letter. While you may know to dress for success, that early equals being on time and how important a good handshake is, there are a few personal touches that can make you stand out to your potential future employers and give you an edge on the competition, many of whom may be just as qualified as you. Keep these helpful hints in mind as you search for your ideal job.

1. Research, research, research the company
Beyond researching the position you’re interested in, research the company as a whole. It can only make you a stronger applicant if you familiarize yourself with the website etc., and further you could find another position that’s an even better fit.

2. Be beyond prepared to pitch yourself
The one question that probably makes most of us cringe the most is “tell me about yourself.” If the thought of this question terrifies you, all the more reason to over prepare for it. You’re showing up to sell yourself and market your skills at the end of the day, so make that pitch as rock solid as you can.

3. Strive to ask meaningful questions
General interview advice often includes the prompt to be sure to ask questions of the interviewer. Especially if they ask you point blank if you have any questions. This is a chance to show you have done your research and express your level of interest in the position. Life gets busy and it can be hard to generate these questions off the top of your head, but don’t underestimate the importance of figuring out which meaningful questions you can ask. The questions themselves are necessary but being genuine is a bonus.

4. Have a thesis statement
Something to experiment with is to have a sort of “thesis” that you’ve crafted before your interview. The goal being to have one sentence summarizing why you should be hired. Maybe you’ll be able to flesh this out in your cover letter, or you may have to do some more prep work before the interview. This is great in case you get stuck, you have your main message to repeat to yourself in your head.

5. Write a thank you note
In the world of text messages and emails, a hand written thank you note may seem a bit extra. However, especially if you’re really interested in the company, this is a great touch. Think about it- it can’t hurt. You’re taking the time to express your gratitude to someone for taking the time to speak with you. Researchers Kumar and Epley (2018) found that “expressers misunderstand the consequences of showing appreciation.” There is a general positive outcome drawn from the act itself of expressing thanks.


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Images obtained from: Emily Van De Loo

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