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Does this sound a bit far fetched? Maybe. Is it really possible to shock your interviewer into selecting you? Yes, it is actually possible, if you are willing to do the legwork. Are we talking horror movie shock? No way. We are talking about creating an impression that they will never forget. Check out these 4 actionable tips that can shock hiring managers into selecting you. These tips aren’t magic pills, however they will increase your chances greatly during your job search journey. 

Tip 1: A beautiful portfolio.

A great presentation can speak volumes. Especially, when meeting someone for the first time. You don’t have to be reminded to dress nicely. That’s too easy. However, you do have to be reminded to make sure the presentation of your skills are in alignment with that pricey suit you’re wearing. Several of your rivals will walk in with the basics— just a resume or CV or a resume and a cover letter. They typically have these documents in hand or carefully slide them out of their leather binders or slim briefcases. Hmm. That sounds ok. Doesn’t it? It depends on who you are asking. 

Here is what your counterparts don’t realize. Anything can happen once those documents leave your sight. Coffee, food, condensation from a drink that sat too long, anything! So a good piece of advice here is to protect your documents from the smiling recruiter or hiring manager sitting across from you. Yes, they mean well, they really do. But when they are hit with back-to-back interviews all day, anything can happen. Not only that but if the unexpected does happen, you never know if they have to then pass your damaged documents over to another decision maker. Yes, a coffee stained resume looks nice doesn’t it? Not. 

Do them a favor. Place your documents in clear sheet covers or even better, a small faux leather or plastic binder that has the sheets preinstalled. They are pretty inexpensive and are well worth the result. Not only will this score you points in presentation, but this will also protect your documents as well as prevent your paperwork from being lost in that pile of resumes already on their desk. If you want to stand out, you have to be intentional. On a side note, don’t even think about walking in there with just a resume only. Have both a resume and a cover letter. Your resume represents your experience while your cover letter represents you. Don’t take shortcuts. Place your best foot forward in this process.

Tip 2: Have a business card on deck.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why should I give them a business card when I’m trying to leave my existing employer to work for them? Wouldn’t that then make the business card irrelevant?’ Yes, your point is duly noted. However, here is the logic in this. Not every hiring manager or recruiter is comfortable just giving you their business card. Let’s just say they don’t want everyone that interviews calling them every other day to “follow up”. You can’t blame them for that one. However, there is something about you handing them a business card first that disengages them for a moment, and will increase the chances of you getting theirs when you ask for it. Wouldn’t it seem rude if they didn’t give you their card after you graciously gave them yours? Oh, yes, this sinister method just may do the trick! Well, let’s just say it’s a little bit of reverse psychology. If you don’t want them calling your desk at your job and most of you won’t, tell the hiring manager that the best way to reach you is on your cell and write it on the back of the card in front of them. This isn’t rocket science. It’s a great way to ask for what you want. Then once you get their info, you call them every other day to follow up. Just kidding! No, you get their commitment on a follow up time frame and if they don’t adhere to it, then you follow up. Just a quick side note: If your business card is ugly or beat up looking, forget everything you just read or get some new ones made. You don’t want to create a problem when there is none.

Tip 3: Study up. 

It’s important that you know as much as you can about the company that you’re interviewing for. Their culture, their vision, their mission or their interests. What’s even better is recent media and news coverage on their company. Why do you need to know this information? Because when your interviewer asks that age old question, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ This time, you are going to say yes and you will be sufficiently armed. Be careful though. Don’t just spout off their company’s mantra just to make it look like you are studied up. Provide some real information and follow up with powerful questions.

Mention something like, “I saw that your company was recently selected for the JD Power and Associates Top Companies of 2018 award, do you think you guys will be up for it again next year?” Now the interviewer might know about this already and that is ok. You are just showing them that you have real interest. So they reply and then you hit them with a heavy question. Something about recent advancements in a particular area and what the company’s take on them are. Or ask about a recent press release regarding the company’s plans for the next quarter. If they don’t know the answer or can’t give a confident reply, then guess what— they will feel like they owe you something. Sounds odd but it works. In that brief moment, there is a shift of power. 

Just please make sure the questions you are asking are somewhat relevant to the department you are going to because if you don’t do this the right way, you might just piss off the interviewer because you dragged out an already long day. Keep it to about 3 questions, max. The main purpose in this is to show that you are actually interested in the long-term versus just a paycheck. They want people who are looking to stay. 

Tip 4:  Send an awesome thank you email. 

You may be thinking, Oh, that’s what everybody says. I know you already know to do this but here is the part you don’t know. That Thank You Email might be the last hurrah you get before they make their decision. So don’t go for one of those, ‘Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.’ Oops. I fell asleep for a second. Boring! It looks identical to 15 other emails they received in their inbox that very day. Shhh! Lean in for this secret. Everyone knows they should send a thank you email! That’s nothing new! Your goal is to stand out. The tip does not say, Send a thank you email. It says send an awesome thank you email

Immediately after your interview, right down everything you remember. When reaching out to the interviewer, mention to them how you enjoyed learning about them and their company, and list a couple of highlights to show them that you’re not just blowing smoke. This will also help them to remember who you are. Then in closing, remind them why you are the best fit for the role and end the message with another thank you. Open with a thank you and close out with one. That’s the method. 

As mentioned prior, none these tips are magic pills but they will often shock hiring managers which will place you higher on their radar and that’s where you want to be. If you do more than the next person, you will automatically get noticed. Don’t fall in with the rest of the sheep. Stand out in your originality and show hiring managers that they will miss out if they pass on you. Be confident in what you have to contribute and stand firm in your talents. Start on your journey the right way and connect with a reputable staffing agency that will set you up for success. To work with us here at Nextaff, feel free to contact us and we will help you get started right away. You can also check out our job board below!

Based on this article, we recommend you read: 7 Things People Never Tell You About Job Interviews5 Smart Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview, and Thank You For Applying But…How To Cope With Being Turned Down For a Dream Job.

NEXTAFF is a temporary staffing agency devoted to our clients and candidates throughout the United States. For more job tips and ideas, contact us. We are always hiring, so if you or someone you know is looking for work, check out our job board below and apply today! We are able to service all your staffing agency needs with local staffing offices in Raleigh-NC, Overland Park-KS, Topeka-KS, Kansas City-MO, Dallas-TX, Gulf Coast-MS, Phoenix-AZ, Miami-FL, and Harrisburg-PA.