Impressing the hiring manager should be your top priority in every job interview.
“While other people within the organisation — the HR or recruiting team, departmental team members, the CEO or another executive — will have input, the hiring manager generally has the last word on the decision to hire you,” says Matt Mickiewicz, cofounder of Hired, a site for finding high-paying tech jobs.
“And because you will be working closely with this person, it’s important to demonstrate to them over the course of an interview not only that you can do the job, but also that you will be a good coworker and will fit in with the cultural fabric of the company.”
Luckily, there are some very easy ways to stand out from the crowd.
“Rather than trying to get overly creative in an interview, focus on mastering the basics,” says Mickiewicz. “Few people do this really well, and you’ll stand out if you are able to do these things well.”
Do your homework.
Aside from researching the company’s history, its CEO and other top executive, take time to read recent press the company has gotten, research any earnings reports or financial statements, check out their blog to see what partnerships and projects they’re involved in, “and then reference these during the interview,” suggests Mickiewicz.
But don’t go overboard. “Referencing details from someone’s personal life or veering too far into topics that are outside the scope of the job can come off as creepy and even invasive.”
“Having the skill set for a given position is really only half the battle,” he explains. “The interviewer wants to know that you share their passion for the business and that you genuinely want to work there. Try to find specific anecdotes or examples that demonstrate your excitement for what the company does — a time when you used their product or service, a friend who has worked there and spoke highly of the company, or a talk the CEO gave that resonated with you.”
Keep a positive attitude.
Avoid negativity at all costs, he says. “Even if you hated your last boss or company, try to put a positive spin on things.”
Never say “no” if someone asks whether you have any questions during or after the interview. “Always have three to five questions lined up for each interviewer,” he suggests. “Try to focus on big picture things topics like, ‘What’s the vision for the company?’ or ‘Where will the organization be in five years?’ Interviewers appreciate a natural inquisitiveness.”
Nail your thank you note.
Most people send generic thank you notes that are easy to spot as something that’s been cut and pasted. “Stand out from the crowd by referencing specific things that you talked about in the interview,” says Mickiewicz. “Share ideas, content, or data that the company can act on.
“Lastly, if you felt there was a question you didn’t address well in the interview, you can follow up by saying something to the effect of ‘I gave the topic of X more thought, and I wanted to add …'”
Ask for feedback.
You don’t want to put your interviewer on the spot, but consider asking for feedback in your thank you note.
“This is a great way to show that you are engaged in the process and also to discover any gaps in your work experience or interview style that you need to address,” Mickiewicz says.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.