How to stand out in an interview

Wednesday 26. 2018

Interviews are commonplace practice in the recruitment stage and you best believe that interviewers will see thousands of candidates in their role lifetime. Similarly to your CV, it is crucial that you stand out in an interview. Whilst being able to answer all of the questions efficiently in itself is one thing, leaving a lasting impression is another.

Here at TMI Resourcing, as you probably know by now, we make it our sole aim to match candidates with their best fit clients. Meaning, everybody benefits! To help us achieve this, (and to help you too) we’ve put together some tips. ‘Tricks of the trade’ if you like, to help you really stand out in an interview and make that vital lasting impression.

How to stand out in an interview

Have the passion

If you’re going for a job in a niche sector, then the chances are that you already have a divine passion for that industry. You’re going to want to really hone in on that to stand out in an interview.

Show how much real interest you have in your field by showcasing it. Don’t shy away from your talents and achievements. There’s no better way to illustrate what you’re saying than through examples. So, why not bring along a real portfolio for interviewers to look through?

If you’re going for a web developer position, bring some examples of your designs. Or ,if you’re going for a copywriting job, evidence some pieces that you’ve written such blogs or articles.

The bottom line is that employers are looking for someone with raw passion, not just someone who can robotically tick boxes. Bringing along something with you to cement that you are indeed this passionate individual is a sure-fire way to show the interviewer you mean business. Not only this, but it also gives them something to remember you by.

TMI Top Tip: if you have examples of writing, or screenshots of web design; why not print them out on high quality paper, put them in a display folder and let the employer keep this file. This will give them something to remember you by, and refer back to you with. Keeping you fresh in their minds right up until the decision making stage.

Remember the 7 second rule

Experts say that you have only 7 seconds to make a lasting first impression. Make sure you nail it. Whilst you may be nervous, it’s important to take charge of these nerves almost immediately and put forward your best self to the interviewer.  

Remember to action a firm handshake, look the interviewer in the eye and be friendly. They’re only human too and it’s absolutely fine to treat them as such. Smile, and engage in light-hearted (professional) humour with them if it puts you at ease. This is a much better tactic than coming across mechanised and unauthentic.

How to enter the room is also very important. If you shuffle in timidly and reluctantly then this can leave a lasting impression for all of the wrong reasons. Instead, be confident (but not too overly-confident). Tricky business, right? That’s why we’re here to help you.

Become a storyteller

Answering “yes, I can” to a question is OK, answering “yes I can, here’s when I did something similar..” followed by a story is great.

It’s all good and well answering yes to every question, but simple confirmations are far too easy. Not only this, but how can an interviewer be sure that you’re being truthful? To help show them that you’re not only being honest, but also that you’re capable too, then why not add stories to support your contentions? Following the answer to a question with real life examples shows that yes, you can do the thing you’re claiming. It also give employers something unique to remember you by. Standing out is paramount and by following these tips, you should.

TMI Top Tip: it’s best to be prepared, so why not sit down before your interview and think of possible questions that you may be asked? Plan rough answers and seek out examples to support them. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you should vary your responses. If you relate everything back to your past job (for example) and don’t think outside of the box, then this can become a very dull interview, very quickly and could certainly lead the interviewer losing interest in you.

Take control of the interview

One of the best ways to stand out in an interview is to take control.

This doesn’t mean swapping seats with the interviewer and putting them under the spotlight, not at all. It just means being a little more sophisticated in your approach. Interviewers can get nervous too, so why not to make the whole process a little easier for you both by turning it into more of a conversation?

Conversing with the interviewer, asking for their opinions and engaging in more thorough exchanges is much better than the simple approach of answering question after question with very little thought. Not only this, but adopting this approach is bound to put you at ease. You’ll seem a lot more relaxed and approachable.

TMI Top Tip: remember to always ask questions. It shows the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the role. If you’re struggling for things to ask, why not try:

  • What are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What’s expected of me as an employee here?
  • Can you tell me the next stages of the recruitment process?
  • Is there a certain type of person you would be looking for to hire?
  • How could I go above and beyond in this job?
  • Would there be opportunities for career progression in this role?


With these tips, and our bespoke expertise you’ll be well on your way to your dream job in no time at all. To get started, or for more information on how to stand out in an interview, contact TMI Resourcing today.