Pair of acesIt’s no secret to anyone that we’re living in trying economic times where it’s difficult to find gainful employment. Just having the right education, the right experience, and the know-how isn’t enough anymore. Since truly great positions that really have something to offer you are hard to come by, things are extra competitive now; so, you’re likely to find yourself having to outshine quite a few other candidates that are every bit as qualified as you are.

All that said, it’s important that you make the splash of a lifetime at your interview, as it could well be what turns out to set you apart in the best possible way. Here’s how to make sure doing just that is a piece of cake.

Be Presentable

Let’s face it, appearances matter. So, it’s essential that you put together the right look for your interview to ensure you’re making a positive impression. Although how you should dress will depend somewhat on what type of position you’re applying for, you should expect to dress in either a formal or semi-formal manner. A suit is always a good option for both men and women. Make sure yours is clean and pressed. Women should wear understated make-up, a modest hairstyle, and tasteful jewelry. Don’t overdo it on the fragrance or cologne.

Do your Homework

At the end of the day, part of what’s going to set you apart is how well you’ve done your research in regards to the company where you’re applying. Before going to the interview, make it a point to spend a little time on the company’s website in order to get a feel for what it’s all about. What is the company’s mission statement? What is it looking to accomplish with what it does? Where do you fit into the company’s plan for the business?

The answers to all these questions can give you valuable clues as to how to put your best face forward at the interview. After all, the company in question is looking for more than just an employee in this day and age. They want someone who fits into their vision and will be a good investment as far as time and effort.

Know How to Answer Questions

Be sure that you’re aware of how you’re coming across when you speak and answer the interviewer’s questions. Be careful not to drone on, and on, and on; or start babbling out of nervousness or lack of awareness of what you’re saying. However, be sure not to flip-flop to the other extreme either – giving unenthusiastic one-word answers. Answer questions clearly and concisely, but enthusiastically.

In the event you’re not completely clear on what you’ve been asked, feel free to politely ask the interviewer to repeat the question rather than guessing at his or her meaning. Make eye contact and don’t fidget. Also, when it comes time to ask questions of your own, be sure to use the opportunity to show your expertise in regards to the company.

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