5 Ways to Stand Out During an Interview —A Googler’s Perspective
Here are a few tips on the best ways to stand out in an interview. The blog is inspired by TIP Co.’s (The Immigrant Project’s) “How to be a Noogler” session w/ Kosha Parekh — Technical Solutions Engineer @ Google Cloud Platform.
“So, what sets you apart from the other candidates?” asks the interviewer. And you know… This is the time to shine.
This simple question is your best opportunity to leave a strong, lasting impression on your interviewer.
How exactly is one supposed to stand out though?🤔
1. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare
Preparation for this question requires one to go back to the basics. Start by focusing on the company’s requirements and your role in the company. Make a list of your personality traits, skills, and qualifications that fit the specific role and hone in on them.
- Make a list of all the projects in the courses and electives you had taken
- Create a list of all your hobby projects and the individual role you played in them
- Write down details about any scholarly papers and capstone projects you might have worked on
2. Use the STAR Framework
Now from the list, pick the top 6–8 STAR (Situation Task Action Results) stories and write down the things that you wish to speak about. Next, practice the delivery of your lines to ensure you communicate powerfully. In short, rehearse your lines. You can use a mirror or have your friends/family give you feedback.
Quick Hack —Instead of asking for referrals on LinkedIn, reach out to people in roles you are interested in and ask if they could help you with interview prep. This is an intelligent way to get face-to-face time with them, which MIGHT lead to a referral.
3. Don’t be afraid to show off a little
Try to volunteer information about yourself that is not on your resume. This is a good place to speak about Hackathons, Fellowships, Hobby, and Volunteer projects. While doing so, be detailed, relevant, concise, and confident.
Quick Hack —
- Identify the skills or traits that you demonstrated during an internship, class project, etc. that would add to value to the role and company.
- Now map it to a product or a news article that you might have read about the company.
- Frame a response, quote relevant and known sources (e.g. Tech Crunch stated that you company recently launched…), and speak about this topic in a catchy, brief manner.
4. What makes you unique?
Talk in-depth about the skills and qualifications that are unique to you, that set you apart from your peers. What is this skill? Why is it unique? How did you go the extra mile to acquire this skill? How does it add to the company?
Quick Hack — During her interview, Kosha made it a point to speak about a relevant scholarly paper that she’d studied in detail during grad school. This is a great way to map your class projects to relevant skills and experiences needed for the role and company.
5. Emphasize your Practical Experience
It is no surprise that interviewers love to hear about your hands-on experience. For example, do you have software that you can use with ease? What are the latest tools that you’ve learned? You can talk about how these tools and software can add value to the day-to-day of the team/company.
Quick Hack — Hobby projects are an excellent topic to speak about to showcase your practical skills. They provide context to these skills. Emphasize how the skills learned from your hobby translate to your job.
You can stay on top of your job finding process by interacting with TIP Co. (The Immigrant Project Community) on our social channels:
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The blog post was written by B.Bandhavya, the associate content creator at TIP. Bandhavya is a full-time Veterinarian doctor from Andhra Pradesh, a state in the south of India. Now that she has her graduate degree out of her way, she decided to invest her energy into rediscovering and cultivating interests that she had to put on a hold for long — writing, painting, traveling, exploring, and eating. She is currently obsessed with historical documentaries while she chills with her fur babies.