By Hannah Morgan
What can you do to stand out during the interview process? First, you want to stand out for the right reasons. Consider the results of a CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive survey from 2013, involving more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals who were asked which factors would make them more likely to favor one candidate over another. Twenty-seven percent of respondents would favor the candidate with the better sense of humor, 26 percent would consider the candidate who is involved in his or her community, 22 percent would favor the better-dressed candidate and 21 percent would like the candidate with whom they had more in common.
Here are some ways to be a standout candidate.
Use mutual professional and personal interests. Instead of testing new jokes out on your interviewer, look to build rapport by asking questions about his or her professional interests. Also, watch the body language of your interviewer to gauge level of interest in your responses, especially to questions about community activities and professional interests, like conferences, books, publications or professional associations. If the conversation and body language is positive, you should be sure to reference that topic in your follow-up with him or her.
Follow up is in your court. Should you follow up again after you send your thank you? Yes, you want to stay in front of the hiring decision-makers as they interview and consider more candidates. The hiring process will take longer than either of you expect. About two weeks after you send your thank you, plan on touching base with the recruiter again. Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of the publishing firm, think tank and coaching and consulting business Human Workplace, wrote a Forbes article on writing a post thank you follow-up, where she recommends you ask a friend to debrief the interview with you. The logic is that in recounting blow by blow with someone else you may reveal things you missed. “You’ll be amazed how your friend, simply by virtue of not being you, can call your attention to issues that deserve your attention," Ryan writes. "They could be odd or concerning things that happened at the interview.” Use these insights when you write your next email to the interviewer.
Read the full USNews article for more tips and strategies
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