TAO Self-help

Title:How to Stand Out in an Interview

Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA-T

Date:March 2014

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

Employers are looking for standout candidates in the interview process — candidates who bring new ideas to the table and address problems with both creativity and confidence. Candidates who answer interview questions with clich├ęs essentially fail for originality, and are classified as "status quo," lowering their chance of landing that sought-after job. If an interviewer asks you about your biggest weakness, don't cop out and say that you don't have any weaknesses, or that you always turn any perceived weaknesses into strengths. Avoid the "status quo" by preparing carefully thought-out answers to common interview questions so you can become a standout job candidate!

Below are two examples of interview questions and what you can do to offer a better-than-status-quo, standout response.

1. Why do you think you fit within our company culture?

This question is asked to see how well job interviewees have researched the interworking of a company. A good company culture is the second-highest priority for most job seekers — second only to salary. A candidate may be surprised when asked this question, but a strong, valid answer shows that he or she has done his or her research, and that the candidate is interested in your company for more than just a paycheck — the lifestyle and culture of your workplace, for example.

2. What did you learn from your most impactful professional failure?

Most interviewers ask candidates to expound upon their most impactful professional accomplishment. However, most job candidates are not prepared to respond to the crucial question regarding their failures. They may "tiptoe" around the question, or give an example of a minor slip-up. This question could be an excellent opportunity to provide a "standout" answer. An honest but confident candidate will not be afraid to tell the interviewer exactly what went wrong in the situation, and the valuable lesson he or she took from it. Candidates should be specific and tell a short story about the failure, and then explain how they turned this lesson around. Everyone makes mistakes, but those who learn from those mistakes experience professional and personal growth at an exponentially faster rate.

A candidate who demonstrates knowledge of the company and industry will stand out. Candidates who honestly describe their failures and lessons learned will stand out. Hiring managers interview multiple candidates for a position, but the individual who demonstrates a level of expertise and passion and stand out are likely to be productive immediately, without suffering from a learning curve — a rare quality!

What do you think? What are some ways to stand out from the crowd to land a great job?

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

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