We live in a world of people seeking attention. From ridiculous YouTube “challenges” to endless photo sharing on Instagram, society seems obsessed with standing-out. Those of us who are more humble may want to push back against the trend of self promotion. However, that’s a mistake when it comes to your nurse or healthcare job interview.
Here are some reasons why it’s important to stand out in job interviews and ways to create lasting impressions with hiring managers.
Why It Matters
Candidates who haven’t worked as recruiters may not realize it, but companies often interview many people prior to extending a job offer. It’s very easy for recollections of interviews to blend together. Sometimes the virtues of individual applicants are lost altogether.
Jobseekers that leave an impression have a better chance at making the “short list.” Other candidates may be just as qualified, but that’s irrelevant if a hiring manager can’t remember their interviews. Standing-out isn’t enough on its own, but it’s a necessary condition for securing enough attention to make the case for why you should be hired in the first place.
Making an impression is also important because it shows that you’re fun and have a good personality. If two candidates are equally qualified, the intangibles (like personality) become important for making a final decision. Hiring managers will likely view memorable candidates as more creative and better “people-persons.”
How to Stand Out (Positively)
As a child, your mother or father may have taught you the difference between generating positive attention and negative attention. The distinction holds true for job interviews. While it’s important to stand out, you want to be sure it’s for the right reasons.
Successful candidates find ways to generate good attention. One way to do this is by dressing up professionally but having a unique item that draws the eye. Men may wear a distinct tie or cufflinks, while women might have an interesting broach or brightly-colored shoes.
Another surprising way to stand out in job interviews is to have a planned response that you know will catch the hiring manager off-guard but in a good way. For example, most interviews will address the topic of personal interests or hobbies. There are perfectly fine answers to these types of questions, but savvy candidates will find one that’s surprising or unique.
Perhaps you’re a cyclist. Instead of just saying that, maybe you reference the time you rode a bicycle the entire length of the state over a two-week vacation. How can an interviewer ever forget the candidate who rode her bicycle 300 miles just for the fun of it?
In the end, we’d like to think the most qualified candidate always gets the job. This is sometimes the case, but the reality is hiring managers are humans with emotions and personal quirks. It’s certainly important to be well qualified and prepared for your interview. But you want to be “remembered” if you really want to land the job!
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