This is the third of my posts on being M.E.M.O.R.A.B.L.E in your interview. You can find part one and part two here. To recap, this acronym guides you through the key elements:
So let’s explore these last three aspects: Bold, Likeable and Entertaining:
So what on Earth does this mean? Isn’t this a bit risky? Well how about this: tell your interviewer something he doesn’t know. Give him a fact about something you have researched in depth, relevant to the business, which could be impactful at some point.
Don’t assume your interviewer knows everything about his field or his industry, so try to surprise him. Make a bold statement about where the business is going, and invite your interviewer to challenge you on it. Try being controversial! Obviously you have to be confident in your fact or source, and be able to argue it effectively.
But think about this, if you can make your interviewer sit back and think “Wow, I hadn’t thought about XYZ in this way before”, isn’t that a powerful way to make an impact? And be remembered as the non-consensus candidate?
In case it is not obvious, it helps greatly if you are likeable! Most humans spend their entire lives building relationships with people they like, and steering clear of people they dislike.
In business it is no different – if your boss likes you I can guarantee that is going to play in your favour. And yet, in many interviews, I come across candidates who are cold, surly, unsmiling – effectively making no effort to be likeable. Even if you normally find it hard to be cheery, you had better fix that for your interview.
In a large organisation you have to be a team player, someone who can get on with his peers. If you give off any of these bad vibes in your interview it is a turn-off. This point is so powerful, I have even been in situations arguing with colleagues over a potential hire, and likeability can even rank above competency!
So smile, be friendly, be engaging, be charming. While the interviewer may do his best to appear aloof and authoritative, he will not be able to help liking you.
My last aspect might seem a bit surprising, but again think of it in the context of team harmony, the need to be able to fit in and get on. If you have a great sense of humour and are always making your friends laugh, let your personality shine through in your interview!
Of course being self-deprecating is probably a better bet than making a joke out of your interviewers choice of tie. But if you can judge a good moment to bring some humour in, go for it. Tell a story about a life experience which was challenging at the time, but funny in retrospect.
Imagine if you can have your interviewer laughing along with you at something you have said. Laughter builds rapport and relationships, and there is almost no better route to being memorable than if you can build a strong rapport with your interviewer.
So that’s my list of 9 great ways to be memorable at interview. Maybe you have some of your own tricks up your sleeve, no matter – whatever works to help you stand out amongst all the other hopefuls chasing the job.
Don’t forget that being memorable itself is one of my 9 key strategies for interview success, so make sure you read through my strategy section to see how it all fits together.
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