As many of you know, I am a major foodie who loves to prepare recipes I see on the two food channels and Pinterest, of course. Well I had this brilliant idea while watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network the other day…
Why not share the highlights of the best interview I ever had?? Genius!!
I can tell you how to prepare for and ace an interview all day long until I’m blue in the face, but there’s nothing like an example of how you can really stand out above the rest during the interview process.
As a Recruiter, I’ve conducted many interviews over the past several years that left me excited to submit the candidate for further consideration in the process. There was one, however, that stands out to this day as the absolute best interview. One interview that I tell my clients about over and over again. One interview that left a lasting impression and set the bar extremely high.
By the time I spoke to this particular candidate, I had already spent about three weeks conducting phone interviews for an Analyst position for which I consistently received tons of qualified and extremely eager applicants. Three weeks of reviewing resumes. Three weeks of telling applicants, “thank you, but no thank you.” And then there was one. One who left me fairly speechless… almost… !
What made this one different?
1. This candidate submitted an easy-to-read resume, like 75% of the other applicants. Here’s a little secret that’s just between us… the flow of your resume is critical because we simply don’t have a lot of time to invest in the initial review. 10 seconds is all you get before we move on to the next one! Grab our attention in 10 seconds and you are well on your way.
2. This candidate had the solid experience we were looking for and a bit more, but so did several others. If I’m looking for 5-7 years of experience, please don’t apply if you only have 2 years in the field.
3. This candidate promptly returned my call to schedule the phone interview, but so did many of the others. Time waits for no man, so promptness is critical.
4. This candidate had excellent communication skills, as did several other candidates. Need I say more about that? When interviewing candidates, I need to know they can effectively communicate with everyone from customers to upper level management.
5. This candidate referred to me by name repeatedly throughout the course of our conversation. WHAT??? Wait a minute!!!
Yes, you read that right and it absolutely blew my mind!
I enjoy interviews that have a conversational flow to them because that provides me with the best view into their fit for the team, but this one was different. This candidate personalized the interview in a way no other candidate before him was able to pull off.
I was pretty convinced this “conversation personalization tactic” (my new term) was natural and authentic for this candidate. He previously served in a sales capacity for a fairly large organization and part of me briefly wondered if he was presenting his strongest pitch. That’s quite possible, but guess what…
I can’t say that he was offered the position, but he was certainly in the running. There are times when no matter how well you do in an interview, you will not receive an offer for the job. I can think of a number of reasons for that being the case, but we can chat about those in more detail at a later time.
What makes your approach to interviews unique?
What separates you from the rest?
Take some time to think about it and leave a note for us in the Comments section.