You have chosen your dream companies well, and have effectively presented yourself through your resume. The hard work has paid off and now you have been called for the all-important interview. As the candidate being interviewed, it is a new role you have to play. It is not just about putting your best foot forward but also about striding feet ahead to set yourself apart from the others. Nailing your interview needs the ‘extra’ or the ‘plus’ beyond diligent preparation. You need to tell an authentic and powerful story about why the organization must pick you as the first among equals.

How can you make this memorable and unique impression?

say and show who you really are.

Most probably, an early question you will get is “Tell me about yourself.” It is a tough question to answer, and it calls for earnest preparation before you come to the interview table. When you are preparing, start by listing your traits and strengths. Then connect these strengths to the skills that been called for in the job description. For example, if you are passionate about teamwork, and if the role calls for collaboration skills, you have a match right away. Work on

such matches – and then set out to articulate them clearly, confidently and in simple terms, so that the interviewer travels the journey with you.


According to career coach Nancy Collamer:

An elevator pitch should answer three questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. What are you looking for?
Man and woman walking outside between office buildings.
Man and woman walking outside between office buildings.

make the interviewer relate to you.

When you are asked questions about your work experiences, or about your strengths and areas of improvement, your answer should be a narrative of your values, skills, and purpose that enables the

interviewer relate to you as a professional who exemplifies the skills, values and behaviors that the organization is looking for — not just as another candidate. Balance your successes with the challenges you faced, and the lessons you learnt from the challenges.

Research the company and your role. This will help you frame your answers better and demonstrate your interest in the organization.

make the interview a meaningful discussion.

While it is true that your interviewer has the power to impact your future, you have an opportunity to stand out by making the interview an engaging conversation. Instead of waiting till the final question

from the interviewer — “Is there anything you would like to ask us?” — you can engage the interviewer subtly and pleasantly through the interview. Of course, it is the interviewer who sets the pace, tone and direction of the interview — and you should let that be. But make relevant comments or ask thoughtful questions, taking the cue from what the interviewer to go deeper into topics that can show your breadth of knowledge and experience, and reveal values you share with the organization. But do not force fit questions or overdo your

talking, there is a right measure and right way of doing the right thing.

LinkedIn has found that answers from high performers contain around 60 per cent more first-person pronouns (I, me, we) than those given by low performers.

Meanwhile, low performers give answers with roughly 400 per cent more second-person pronouns (you) and about 90 per cent more third-person pronouns (he, she, they).

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words matter, and so does your body language.

How you say what you say matters a lot, and that brings us to the all-important point of body language. Here are a few tips:

  • Sit straight without looking tensed.
  • Make the right eye contact with your interviewer to show your undivided attention.
  • Give the interview in a focused and undistracted manner. This way, you will be able to pick
  • up important cues to respond with impact.
  • Be calm, confident and measured in your responses, without being dreary or cocky.

most important, take care of the critical ‘musts’.

There are some ‘must dos’ that are non-negotiable.

  • Firstly, be on time — in fact it’s a good idea to be a little early to find your way to the right
  • place and compose yourself before walking into the interview room
  • Next, dress appropriately — and if given a dress code, please follow it. Your clothes should
  • reflect you as a confident professional and should make you stand out, without being ‘over
  • the top’
  • Look as if you are confident and happy to be there, and not anxious.
  • Make sure your actions and expressions show respect to the people you interact with.

Coco Chanel hit the nail on the head with the quote “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Your job interview is the first impression you will make on the organization. Make it an impactful showcase of both your skills and personality. Show you are different to get the chance to show you

are irreplaceable.

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