Interview Power Moves: Stand Out from the Crowd

You must go beyond the fundamentals to truly stand out from the applicant crowd and make a stellar impression. 

Interview Power Moves: Stand Out from the Crowd
Interview Power Moves

You've nailed the interview basics—researching the company, practicing your answers, and dressing appropriately. But you must go beyond the fundamentals to truly stand out from the applicant crowd and make a stellar impression. 

Drawing from my experience interviewing hundreds of candidates for positions at all levels of the corporate hierarchy and my years of interviewing corporate executives as a journalist. I developed a keen understanding of the intricacies of human interaction. Through effective communication techniques, I learned how to quickly build rapport, exert influence, and turn a skeptical audience into willing partners.

Success in high-stakes negotiations hinges on mastering verbal and nonverbal signals to achieve your objectives. The same holds for knocking your interview out of the park. Apply these field-tested tactics to showcase your unique value to interviewers through a blend of confidence, charisma, and strategic thinking. Consider these your interview power moves.

Own the Room Before You Say a Word

The moment you enter the building, you're on display. Long before you even open your mouth, people will infer your confidence levels and competence based on your body language and overall demeanour. Make sure those snap judgments work in your favour.

Power Posture 

How you hold yourself has an enormous impact on your mindset and energy levels. Scientific research shows that open, expansive postures actually stimulate higher testosterone and lower cortisol, dialling up confidence and reducing stress. Practice posture moves like standing tall with your shoulders back, holding your head high, and keeping your gestures fluid but commanding. This pose signals the poise and assurance you want to embody, while poor posture screams self-doubt.

Early Arrival with a Purpose

Punctuality matters, so arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview. But resist the urge to pace or scroll through your phone nervously. Instead, use the time to subtly observe office dynamics for insights you can sprinkle into the conversation later. Are people relaxed and chatty or more formal? Quick-paced or steady-moving? Take note of challenges employees may face based on snippets you overhear to demonstrate your situational awareness.

You might also strike up an authentic chat with the receptionist by asking about their tenure at the company in an upbeat, friendly way. This allows you to organically gather intel and make an ally who just might put in a good word about you with the boss later. 

The Calculated Walk-In 

Stride confidently into the lobby when it's time for your interview. Pause at the door, stand tall, pull your shoulders back, smile warmly and make direct eye contact. Then, walk steadily and directly to the receptionist to re-introduce yourself, gently restating your name and appointment time. This displays quiet confidence and poise - not arrogance, but certainty in the value you bring. 

What You Say is Critical, But Delivery Is Key  

Once the interview begins, spotlight your unique qualifications through both the content and delivery of your answers. Savvy verbal maneuvers demonstrate emotional intelligence that will set you miles apart from other applicants.

Vocal Power  

A clear, strong voice telegraphs capability and self-assurance. So, ditch verbal fillers like "um," "ah," and "like,” which signal uncertainty as you gather your thoughts. Instead, pause briefly before responding. This portrays reflection rather than nervousness. 

Also, avoid trailing voices or mumbling. Speak slowly, steadily, and loudly enough for easy listening. This calm and commanding communication technique establishes your credibility while keeping interviewers engaged.

Strategic Silence  

Say you're asked about overcoming a previous workplace challenge. Resist the urge to spill everything you know immediately. Instead, pause for two long beats, maintain eye contact, and give a subtle, knowing nod.

This signals that a thorough, insightful answer is coming. Then, respond reflecting on what you learned. This move may feel counterintuitive, but it makes your answer much more powerful than blurting things out. Well-placed silence grabs people's attention, so your words resonate more deeply.

Active Listening 

When your interviewer is speaking, don't just politely wait for your turn. Truly focus on each question before carefully crafting your reply. Nod occasionally, subtly mirror their body language, and use brief verbal affirmations like "I see" to signal deep engagement. 

This level of attentive listening displays emotional intelligence that sets you miles apart from candidates who seem to just be waiting to talk. Interviewers want to feel heard and understood, so fulfill that need.

Stand Out with Memorable Power Moves  

Sprinkling in elements of surprise and memorability can transform your interview from forgettable to exceptional. Think theatrics—albeit small, subtle ones that demonstrate strategic thinking.

The Portfolio "Wow" Moment  

Near the end of the interview, find an opportunity to showcase a professional accomplishment, like increasing sales or reducing customer complaints. Smoothly pull out a simple but compelling visual you've prepared - maybe an infographic or a small prop - and say something like:

"If I may, I wanted to briefly highlight an achievement that showcases the level of [insert critical skill like strategic thinking, customer focus, project management] I could bring to your team."  

This unexpected visual aid makes your story much more tangible and memorable. Interviewers' eyes will light up at this demonstration of preparation and creativity. Just keep it professional, on-brand and tied tightly to their desired capabilities. 

Questions That Impress 

Asking boilerplate questions like "What does a typical day look like?" won't cut it anymore. Draft two to three inquiries showcasing your deep understanding of the company’s challenges. Demonstrate that you've contemplated how you can specifically help address those issues based on your background. 

For example, if the role focuses on digital marketing, you might ask, "What struggles have you faced in collecting and interpreting customer data to improve engagement? I led a project that increased our email open rate by 15%. I'd love to discuss how I could collaborate cross-functionally here to deepen those insights."  

This signals alignment with company goals plus the strategic thinking needed to achieve them. Bonus points if you can reference a nugget of intel you noticed earlier while subtly observing the office environment. 

Flip the Script at the End  

Before wrapping up, confidently pivot the conversation to highlight your assets, passions, and cultural fit - while also hinting at wanting the job. For example:  

"Based on the collaboration I picked up on among your team, I'm confident I would fit seamlessly into the culture here. And I'm passionate about translating data into impactful marketing campaigns for customers. So, if there is a potential fit for me to be part of those initiatives moving forward, I'm very interested in discussing the next steps."

This smoothly signals mutual interest while keeping options open based on their level of excitement about you as a candidate. If executed properly, this move asserts your value while compelling them to keep talking.

With preparation and practice, these interview maneuvers can become second nature. And while they may feel bold at first, understand that boldness helps you stand out amid the clutter of applicant noise. Consider it your duty to showcase the unique value you offer. Commit to nailing both the basics and these advanced techniques. With the right blend of fundamentals and flairs, I'm confident you'll have hiring managers eating out of the palm of your hand.

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