How to stand out from the crowd in an interview

Virtual interview, Remote interview, Zoom call

Article by Jen Hine, HR Advisor at staff management software provider, RotaCloud.

Here, Jen Hine, HR Advisor at staff management software provider, RotaCloud, talks us through her top tips on how to stand out from the crowd during an interview:

  • Go above and beyond with research

When preparing for your interview, don’t just research the company and its history, but research the product or service it offers, even if the role isn’t customer facing. For example, if your interview is with a SaaS company like RotaCloud, sign up for a webinar, or create a trial account, so you can get an understanding of the product prior to the interview.

When you’re in the interview, be sure to mention the research you conducted. It shows you are truly invested in the recruitment process and are passionate about the product or service the company provides.

  • Tailor your presentation to the industry or sector

If you are asked to prepare a presentation beforehand, make sure you tailor it to the specific industry or sector. For instance, if you are interviewing for a HR job in the tech sector and are asked to present solutions on how you would tackle two challenges, select ones that are current and pertinent to the tech sector, such as managing hybrid/remote working or recruitment issues.

While there are lots of HR challenges you could choose from, the interviewer will be impressed you’ve been selective and looked at the issues they are facing at that time.

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  • Demonstrate your technical abilities

For technical roles, sometimes the best way to show you can do something is not by talking, but by demonstrating something practical. It shows you’re passionate about the role, and it helps you stand out.

One of our previous candidates used the job description to build a bespoke app that utilised all the skill sets highlighted in the job post. This proved that he was well qualified for the role and it made his application more memorable. It was impossible to say no to him after that.

  • Prepare backup questions

Prepare some genuine questions to ask at the end of the interview, and have some backups just in case your first set of questions get answered within the interview itself. Write these down and refer to them if necessary – the interviewer won’t mind and will be impressed you’ve prepared thoroughly.

Try to steer clear of asking relatively generic questions such as about working hours, salary or parking – these can be asked at the offer stage. Instead, try to ask job-specific questions. This will indicate to the interviewer that you’re interested in what the company wants from the candidate, and  it will give you a better understanding on whether the job is the right fit for you.

  • Understand the company culture

You can often get a good feel for the company culture prior to the interview by reading the businesses latest blog posts and checking out its social media pages. This will give you things to talk about in the interview on a more human level, while subtly letting the interviewer know that you’ve done your homework. And while the interviewer will ultimately be trying to find out if you’re the right fit for their company, it’s equally as important that you think it’s the right fit too, so take your time and try to get to grips with the company culture before your interview.