I’ve interviewed quite a few people in my time, so I thought it would be valuable to share some tips that will help you to really stand out from the crowd. Follow these five tips and I promise that you’ll make a powerful impression at any interview.
Tip #1: Create a Handmade Letter
We weren’t even looking for an intern when I got a package in the post from Trista Myers. As soon as I saw the time and attention she put into creating the letter she sent, I immediately got interested. That’s the key – be different.
Hand-crafting something shows real creativity and pro-activeness. It’s a killer way to get someone’s attention. Don’t be afraid that you’ll come across as unprofessional – if a company doesn’t like something handmade, then they’re probably not going to be very fun to work for.
Tip #2: Give a Presentation (Even if They Didn’t Ask for One)
Even if they haven’t asked you to prepare a presentation, you should do it anyway. A great tactic is to call up one week before the interview and say “By the way, I’ve been thinking a lot about an idea that would help company-name to increase sales/marketshare/customer-loyalty/etc. Is it OK if I give a quick five-minute presentation?”
Once they say yes (and if they’re smart, they will), just clarify whether you’ll be bringing in your own laptop or if you’ll need to use one of their machines.
Pro tip: If you’re not a designer, ask a friend with design skills (or pay someone for a day of their time) and to design your presentation slides. A beautiful presentation will really wow the interviewer.
Tip #3: Research, Research and Research Some More
Spend at least a day Googling the company that you’re going to see. Get to to know everything about them, especially:
- Date the company was founded
- Who the founders are
- History and background of the person interviewing you
- Primary competitors
- Twitter accounts
Basically, learn everything you possibly can about the company. This will demonstrate that you’re really passionate about the job and that you know what you’re getting in to.
Tip #4: Get Creative with your Resumé
Michael Anderson gets it. No one wants to read another boring resumé, so he took the time to do something really crazy and different. It instantly sets him apart from everyone else applying for the job.
The key is to be creative – it shows the company that you’ll be able to come up with exciting new ideas for them and that you can think outside the box.
Tip #5: Explain Why You Want the Job
Have an answer prepared for the question: “Why do you want to work at company-name?”
Every founder’s nightmare is that a potential employee sees the job as a short-term solution – a bridge to get somewhere else. We need to know that you’re dying to work at the company and that you plan on staying.
When you put this level of preparation and passion into an interview, I can guarantee you that you’re going to get a second interview, and providing you don’t freak out during the interview, you’ve got yourself a new job 🙂
Please share your tips and thoughts below in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!