Job searches are almost always stressful. Writing a good resume and cover letter, the interview rounds and then waiting for that all important call. Many apply but only one is chosen. How do you make sure you are that one? Here are few job search tips to stand out from the other candidates interviewing for the same position.

  1. Appear confident, even if you are not

Your interview starts even before you have said a single word. The hiring manager is reading your body language. Begin with a firm but quick handshake and then don’t fidget as you sit. Keep your feet planted on the ground, don’t show nervous behaviour like fidgeting, playing with a pen or swinging a leg.

You should have prepared yourself for the inevitable interview questions from the recruiter – “Tell me more about yourself” or “How are you suited for this job”. Make sure that you have already decided on what skills and achievements you want to highlight, pertinent to the job at hand. This is not the time to ramble about everything you have done. The recruiter is only interested in your ability to bring value to the position they are hiring for.

2. Be resourceful, prepare a SWOT analysis

The best way to know about the company is to do a SWOT analysis. This is nothing but researching and understanding the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. If an opportunity arises to share it with the hiring manager, it shows that you have come in prepared. It could lead to a more informed discussion. Knowing the strengths and opportunities will also help you to know how to tailor your answers to any question put to you. This is one of the best ways to stand out from the other candidates. It has almost always been the best starting point for candidates when it comes to how to ace an interview.

3. Demonstrate your value, present a 3-month business plan

A SWOT analysis gives the bigger picture about the company but an action plan for your role is what determines the value you will bring. Most candidates do not realise the importance of this in impressing the hiring managers. This is particularly useful for middle and higher positions. It immediately involves the interviewer into a constructive discussion and the interview takes a completely different hue.

Your initial SWOT analysis is what you will use to build this plan. This requires a lot of research and you might need to throw in a few facts to back up your plan. For example, the first month could be set for understanding the business processes and identifying problems and evaluating solutions. The next two months can be used for implementation and execution. You should be able to identify the success metrics approximately for the quarterly review. Try this job search tip and watch the positive feedback.

4. Don’t hesitate to ask pertinent questions

The interview should be a two-way street. As long as you are just replying to the interview questions, you appear to be passive. As much as the company needs to establish how suitable you are for the position, you too need to evaluate if the opportunities offered in this position are right for you. Prepare a few interview questions of your own to ask at suitable points in the interview.

If you are not sure what to ask, go with these questions. Questions can be related to the team you might be joining. You can ask about the team size and the career progression of individuals in the team. What are the training programs that are provided by the organization? You can even go a bold step further and ask the hiring manager if they have concerns hiring you and then address the concern.

At the close of the interview, it is important to know what the next step in the process will be. It is best not to leave it open-ended. Do not hesitate to ask when you can expect to hear back from them. Use this strategy and you will find that you are well on the way towards how to ace the interview.