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15 Steps to stand out in a job interview

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Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they’re also a great opportunity to showcase your skills and experience. However, with so many candidates vying for the same position, how can you stand out from the crowd? In this article, we’ll provide you with 15 practical steps you can take to make a lasting impression in your next job interview.

From researching the company to mastering your body language, we’ll guide you through the process of presenting yourself as the ideal candidate for the job. So whether you’re a recent graduate, a seasoned professional, or just looking to improve your interviewing skills, read on to learn how you can make a strong and lasting impression in your next job interview.

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How to Stand Out in a Job Interview: Practical Tips for Effective Preparation

If you are seeking a new position, you are aware that one of the most significant parts of the selection process is the interview.

However, to be successful in the interview, it is necessary to prepare properly. From researching the company to careful body language, every detail makes a difference. Now, we’re going to explore practical and in-depth tips so you can prepare as well as possible for your job interview.

Most common mistakes during a job interview

A job interview is an important opportunity for interviewees to impress employers and land a job. However, many times, some common mistakes can jeopardize this opportunity. Here are some of the top mistakes interviewees make during a job interview:

  1. Not researching the company or the job before the interview.
  2. Not being punctual or being late for the interview.
  3. Dress inappropriately for the occasion.
  4. Not preparing for the interview FAQs.
  5. Not being clear and direct in answering questions.
  6. Badmouthing your previous job or employer.
  7. Talking too much or not letting the interviewer talk.
  8. Not asking relevant questions about the company or the job.
  9. Ignore the importance of body language and non-verbal communication.
  10. Lying or exaggerating about your skills and experience.
  11. If you’re looking for a new job while you’re working, read our article and see best practices.

15 Steps to Landing Your Next Job

And to solve all the problems listed above, we’ve come up with this amazing list that will help you land your next job:

1. Search about the company

Research the company where you will be interviewing. To do so, access the institutional website, social networks and even news related to the company. Read about the company’s history, mission, vision and values. Try to understand the market segment in which the company operates, its products and services and who are its direct competitors. 

It is also important to know the organizational culture, policies and benefits offered to employees. All of this information will give you a better understanding of the collaborator profile the business is seeking and how you may meet it.

2. Search about the position

Carefully read the position description and required skills. Review your resume and see how you can fit the job. Try to understand what the challenges of the position are and what results are expected. It is also important to know the work routine and the responsibilities involved in the vacancy.

This will help you prepare for the questions the interviewer might ask about your experience and skills. For example, if the job requires leadership skills, you could talk about a project you previously led a team on.

3. Practice the interview at home

The first step is to train the interview at home. This can be done in a variety of ways, from recording a video of yourself answering common interview questions to practicing with a friend or family member. By training at home, you become familiar with the most frequently asked questions in interviews and can think of more accurate and objective answers. Just like in sports, good training makes the actual match a little easier.

4. Use the STAR method to tell about your trajectory

In addition, it is important to use the STAR method to tell about your professional trajectory. This method helps to structure the answer in a clear and objective way, demonstrating your skills and experiences more effectively.

The STAR method is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Basically, you should explain what the situation you were in, what was the task that needed to be done, what actions you took to solve the problem and what was the result obtained.

For example, if asked about a circumstance in which you had to deal with a team issue, you can use the STAR approach to reply as follows: “In a previous situation, there was a conflict in my team. The task we needed to accomplish was to deliver a project within a tight deadline. To resolve the conflict, I acted as a mediator between the parties, listening carefully to their arguments and looking for solutions that met both needs. The result was that the team was able to work more harmoniously and we delivered the project on schedule, successfully.”

5. Keep in mind some positive and negative situations

It’s important to be prepared to talk about both positive and negative experiences you’ve had in previous jobs. Positive experiences can help demonstrate your skills and competencies, your teamwork, while negative ones can be an opportunity to show how you handled challenges and overcame obstacles.

It is essential to be sincere and honest when talking about negative situations, but always highlighting what you learned and how it helped you grow professionally.

6. Don’t speak ill of your current/former job

Remember, the interview will not only assess your skills and knowledge, but also your behavior and attitude. One of her priorities for employers is the ability of candidates to maintain a professional and ethical demeanor. 

Therefore, avoid badmouthing your current or former job. Instead, focus on talking about your professional experiences objectively and positively.

7. Use positive words

During the interview, it is important to use positive words and phrases to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to the job and the company. Some positive words and phrases you can use are:

  • I’m excited about this opportunity
  • I like to work in a team
  • I am always looking to learn and develop myself.
  • I am proactive and I like to solve problems
  • I am committed to delivering quality results
  • I like challenges and I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone.

These are just a few suggestions for positive words and phrases you can use during the interview. Remember to always be sincere and demonstrate enthusiasm for the job and the company.

8. Be prepared for the most frequently asked questions

Tell me about yourself, “What are your strengths and shortcomings,” and “Why do you want to work for our organization” are all basic and regularly asked questions in job interviews. It is important to be prepared to answer these questions clearly and objectively and demonstrate your skills and abilities. 

A good tip is to practice your answers out loud to feel more confident during the interview. Read our guide to the most frequently asked questions.

9. Be prepared for awkward questions

Sometimes interviewers may ask questions that seem strange or out of context for the interview. “If you were an animal, what would you be and why?” for example or “What would your superpower be if you could have only one?” These questions may appear weird, but they are designed to measure your inventiveness, capacity to think rapidly, and ability to adapt to unforeseen scenarios.

The best way to prepare for awkward questions is to try to come up with creative, spontaneous responses without losing focus on your professional skills and competencies.

10. Speak in the right measure

Speaking well is an essential skill during a job interview. It is necessary that you are precise and succinct in your replies, without leaving out important facts. To that end, here are some tips to help you speak in the right measure during the interview:

  • Practice before the interview – practicing your answers at home can help you be more confident and clear when interviewing.
  • Be objective – try to get straight to the point in your answers and avoid rambling on topics that are not relevant to the question.
  • Avoid jargon – avoid using technical terms or jargon that may not be understandable by the interviewer.
  • Be Specific – When giving examples of your skills or experience, be specific and give relevant details.
  • Respect the time – pay attention to the time of each question and try not to talk more than necessary.
  • Listen Carefully – Pay attention to the interviewer’s questions and make sure you fully understand before responding.

11. Take care of your body language

During the interview, it is important to pay attention to your body language. That’s because the way you carry yourself can convey more than your words. Maintain an upright posture, make eye contact with the interviewer, and avoid sudden movements or excessive gestures.

It’s important to convey confidence and security, but without appearing arrogant or disinterested. Remember that body language can say a lot about you and your attitude towards the interview.

12. Do not lie

Honesty is key in any situation, but even more so in a job interview. Don’t lie about your skills, experience or knowledge. It is necessary to be truthful and open with the interviewer. If you don’t know the answer to a question, acknowledge it and express a desire in learning more.

Lying may harm your reputation and trustworthiness, as well as compromise your employment prospects.

13. Be dressed appropriately for work

Dress correctly for the job interview, taking into consideration the sort of firm and position you are looking for. If the organization is more official, such as a law office, the best attire is social clothing, such as a suit and tie for men and a dress or pantsuit for women.

If you work for a more informal organization, such as a startup, you may be permitted to wear jeans and a T-shirt. Even so, in general, it is preferable to err on the side of formality.

Remember that your appearance is important and can say a lot about you and your attitude towards the interview and the job. Choose clean and well-pressed clothes, take care of personal hygiene and avoid using perfume or excessive makeup. What matters is that you make a good first impression.

14. Ask the interviewer questions

At the end of the interview, the interviewer usually gives the candidate the opportunity to ask questions. This is an important time to show interest and curiosity about the company and the position. Some questions you can ask are:

  • What are the expectations for this position?
  • What are the growth opportunities within the company?
  • What is the work environment and company culture like?
  • What is the biggest challenge the company currently faces?

These are just a few suggestions, but you can adapt them according to your area of expertise and interest. The important thing is to demonstrate that you are engaged and committed to learning more about the company and how you can contribute to its success.

15. Be yourself

During the interview, it’s important to be yourself and show your qualities and skills in an authentic way. Never attempt to be someone you’re not, or act as if you have skills or expertise that you don’t. The professional being interviewed should fit in with the company’s culture and possess the traits and abilities necessary to succeed in the position.

Show your qualities, your strengths and your relevant experiences honestly and confidently. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and your true essence. Remember that the interview is a chance for the firm to get to know you better and determine whether you are the best applicant for the job.


We have reached the end of the article on preparing for a job interview. As we’ve seen, there are several important steps to properly prepare for and succeed at the interview. From researching the company and the vacancy, to taking care of body language and choosing the right clothes. Also, we go through some of the most typical errors responders make and how to prevent them.

The job interview may be a highly stressful experience, but with the right preparation and self-assurance, you can succeed and get the job you desire. Therefore, it is important to always remember to be honest, authentic and speak in the right measure, demonstrating your strengths and your interest in the company and the job. Good luck on your next interview!

If you are looking for a Manager position, we have a list of top books you should read.

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This article is part of a series of articles related to Job Interview

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