By Richard Combs, Assistant Director, Business Consultant
“Knowledge is a commodity and is free. The world and employers do not care about what you know. They care about what you can do with what you know. ”
– Tony Wagner
In a typical interview process, it is common for an organization to receive hundreds of applicants, phone screen 10-20 individuals, and hold face-to-face interviews with upwards of 5 candidates. On-campus interviewing can provide even greater numbers as companies will often interview 10+ candidates per interviewer. With these numbers, how does one stand out from the crowd? Be memorable.
So what can you do to distinguish yourself in an interview?
Here are 3 key skills (ACC) that you should demonstrate in your story to help you be memorable:
1. ADAPTABILITY – ability to “roll with the punches” and adapt to change
The world of work is changing. Many of the jobs most desired now did not even exist 5 years ago. The ability to adapt is critical for all employees as it demonstrates flexibility and brings added value to the employer.
2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS – ability to organize and articulate thoughts effectively, good listening skills.
Despite all the changes in technology, communication skills are still highly valued. In addition to written and verbal communication skills, the ability to listen is important.
3. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS – ability to use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
Your story during the interview must demonstrate your critical thinking skills. How do you accomplish this? Reflect on your experiences and demonstrate how you improved a situation. People are hired to solve problems. Your job is to make your boss’s job easier. In order to do this, you fix problems.
Remember that an interview is a two way street. The employer is interviewing you, but you are also interviewing the employer. Also to become more skillful at interviewing it takes practice, practice, and more practice. Take advantage of the opportunity to participate in mock interviews at the Toppel Career Center and sign up for the EPIC program once you return to campus in the fall.