stand out as a candidate

February 14, 2018, by Manuela Cabrera

Top Three Tactics I Use to Stand out as a Candidate at Interview

By Manuela Cabrera, masters student, studying structural engineering

When facing a job interview, many questions usually come to mind: Am I suitable for the job? Do I have the skills that the position requires? Do I have the knowledge? 

Here, I share the top three tactics I use to prepare myself for a job interview.

1. I showcase my enthusiasm

Before applying for a job, I take some time to think about different experiences I’ve had and how they might be relevant to the skills needed for a particular role. Then before the interview, I’ll make a list of all these experiences and revise them, so when the meeting comes I’ll have plenty to talk about.

For example, I was a member of subaquatic rugby team and it has taught me how to work in a team under pressure – literally, without breathing! I recently applied for a job with a UK company and highlighted this in my application. The interviewer was quite excited and asked me more about it in my interview.

2. I research the company

It can sound obvious, but seriously, this is important.

I aim to be fully aware of the skills and requirements I need for a certain position. Then I think about what I can do to improve in these areas. Having good general knowledge about the company and how it works will show the interviewer how interested I am.

Some time ago, I applied for a position in a bakery. I had read that the store couldn’t open without at least two people, so I remarked on the importance of being a punctual person. The interviewer was quite impressed because not many people had done so much research.

3. I brush up on my IT skills

IT knowledge is so important for most jobs. Technology helps to make our work easier, faster and accessible, so certain technical skills can set you apart.

The good thing is that you can learn lots of different skills online. For instance, I frequently enroll onto online courses and practice by using videos, tutorials and blogs on the web. My favourite website is Linkedin learning, where you can learn more about all sorts of topics. As a budding structural engineer, I’ve spent time learning graphical modeling software, such as SAP2000, and the programming language, Python.

Also, did you know that the university offers a wide range of software and filestore solutions? You can see what software is available to you free as student here.

Have you secured a job interview? For more help and advice on how you can stand out as a candidate, check out our online resources. We’re also running a series of skills workshops to help you with everything from interview confidence to the different types of interviews you might face. 


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