It is in every job seeker’s best interest to develop a strong rapport with the person doing the hiring. When you make yourself memorable to the recruiting manager you can leave the interview with your head held high and oozing with confidence. But, what many job seekers fail to consider is the many other candidates who are doing the same thing, and who also hit it off with the interviewer. So the question is – how do you make yourself more memorable than the rest?
Countless hours are spent preparing and rehearsing for the nerve-wracking job interview. You spend time constructing thoughtful responses to the most common interview questions, choosing the most professional outfit, and organizing your portfolio. But remember, hundreds of other applicants are going through the exact same routines. The key to landing a job is to embed yourself and your brand in the minds of your recruiters.
In order to leave a lasting impression, you have to follow one simple rule – expect to be forgotten. Being forgotten by a recruiter happens, and it is not a bad thing. No matter how well the interview went, you never know what the recruiter is thinking. By expecting to be forgotten, you can differentiate yourself by taking advantage of the following five ways to be memorable:
1. Absorb your surroundings
When entering the workplace for an in-person interview, often times interviewees do not switch off their busy minds as they go over the answers they wish to relay in their heads. The second you step foot in the office, your interview has begun. Not only do you want to make a great impression with the recruiter, but you also want to be noticed by the others you might encounter. Though your nerves may be slowly taking over, don’t forget your manners. Be sure to greet the receptionist, hold the door if applicable, and smile! There is strength in numbers when it comes to leaving a good impression. The more people you impress, the more chances you have in being brought up in later conversation.
2. Share your unique experiences
We know you have the necessary skills for the position (or at least say you do) but try your best to develop your past experiences into unique stories that the interviewer will remember. Yes, you may have experience as a liaison between a client and the company, but give specifics and develop a story. Take your interviewer on a short journey through your previous job responsibility and share what worked for you and what you learned. Ask yourself, “What have I done that makes me different from the rest?”
3. Make your final words count
Though the light at the end of the tunnel is captivating, don’t miss your last, in-person opportunity to make the final impression. As you go to shake the interviewer’s hand, express your appreciation for their time and your excitement for the job opportunity. Whether the recruiter asks why you would make a great fit for the position or not, be sure to remind them on your way out of the door.
4. Have a solid Web presence
If the company hasn’t searched for you online prior to the interview, chances are they most definitely will check out your Web presence after the interview. Your online presence is likely to take the place of resumes in the future, so there is no better time to perfect it than right now. Whether it is a personal website, blog, or ePortfolio, be sure your work is up-to-date and it shows off your skills in a positive light. Having a professional presence online will keep you within arm’s reach of your recruiter. You can even take advantage of building a profile with the search engine itself. A Google+ profile is a great way to help you differentiate yourself from other individuals sharing the same name as well as showcasing your personal brand.
5. Follow-up thoughtfully
Expressing your thanks after an interview is a nonnegotiable aspect of interview etiquette. But, here is when you need to expect to be forgotten. In addition to thanking your interviewer, include specific conversation pieces or triggers in your note. They see people all day and even if you hit it off, they still may have trouble remembering you when it is all said and done. If you shared a laugh, remind them. If you went to the same school or you found you share a mutual friend, include it. It is your job to help the recruiter remember you in a clever way.
Being remembered without any extra effort is an unlikely occurrence in today’s tough job market. Give yourself a boost over your competition by giving your recruiters no other choice but to remember you and what you have to offer.
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.