5 Interview Tips to Stand Out
Posted by Tyler Hart on 2/2/2018
Are you nervous? That's a good thing. This energy will keep you on your toes and ready to pounce. Embrace what lies ahead. After all, it is your future.
From the many students who've come through our doors for the precious admission interview, there have been a good number that have left a lasting impression. Perhaps it was what they said, or even how they said it, that has resonated. Here are a few of those observations that you can take as advice before heading into your own important conversations.
Actually, there are six tips. How you prepare for the interview is nearly as important as the interview itself. For every minute you spend preparing for the interview, that is one less "Umm" you will utter during the interview.
#0: Know Yourself
Someone once asked me, what three words do I live by? Well, what is important to you? Family, Honor, Trust, Compassion? A little soul searching goes a long way and you'll be surprised how, once clarified, these values seem to seep into our various thoughts, actions, and words. What are your strengths? What value will you bring to the community? How are you looking to grow? All of these talking points are what we really want to know, most of which we will outright ask you about. It's best to be prepared.
#1: Build Momentum with your First Impression
If you want people to think you are a responsible, independent, determined individul, then act like it. Studies show that likability opens more doors. Stand up, make eye contact, and give a solid handshake with a warm, confident, "Nice to meet you." This sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. You'll be surprised how much of a confidence booster you'll get after a solid introduction. Now carry that momentum.
#2: Boast about your Past
While pride is, indeed, one of the seven deadly sins, this is not the time to be humble! The interview is your time in the spotlight, so shine it on your many accomplishments. This is your evidence for building the case that you are a strong candidate.What are your selling points? Weave those into the various points and responses you give.
NOTE: Some of us have made big enough mistakes in life that a discussion regarding the past is necessary. Be transparent. Use the word mistake when referencing the action, and then talk about the important lessons you've learned. Be genuine.
#3: Make it a Conversation
Come with questions! Realize this isn't just an interview to see if you are a good fit, but also to see if this environment is a good fit for you! Think of it this way: Have you ever tried to carry a conversation with someone who won't engage? It's so one-sided and tiring! Well, that is like an interview when only one person is asking all the questions! Be an active participant. Come with your list and mentally add those questions that pop up mid-interview.
#4: Present the Future
Where do you see yourself heading in ten years? Yes, that is a question we ask. We want to know how much thought you've given toward your future. Even if we don't ask this question directly, you should touch on this. Follow the old mantra, KISS: Keep It Simple, Stu**d. A detail-oriented timeline is not necessary. We want to hear your goals, possible career paths, accomplishments that matter to you. Your passion and excitement will shine through, a bonus.
When everyone's questions are answered and the conversation has run its course, say thank you. If a comment made by the interviewer sticks with you, then tell them that. This not only demonstrates your skills as a listener, but also shows that you are invested in your future.
The more prepared for the interview you are, the easier it will have seemed once all is said and done. Allow yourself to debrief, what went well and what didn't, and then don't think about it again. There's no sense in dwelling on the past, especially once you've learned from it. Be forward thinking. Focus on the future and make use of the present to get there.