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Of course, the best way to win hiring managers over during an interview is to become the best candidate in the pool by sheer luck and force of will. But because these things aren’t always under our command, you’ll need to rely on other tools in your arsenal as well, like preparation, presentation, and control over your nervous jitters. Here are three key tips to keep in mind as you prepare your winning interview strategy.

Research the company—In a smart way.

“Research the company” is a well-worn piece of job search advice that can mean almost anything. But it doesn’t mean you’ll impress your employers if you walk in the door spouting random facts about the year the company was founded and how well each division performed in the third quarter of last year. For most entry and mid-level positions, “research” means visiting the company’s website to gain a feel for the culture and to see how well you might fit in. For sales positions, it may also mean a little knowledge of product storylines. At the executive level, you’ll need to be able to speak intelligently about the problems the company faces and how you intend to help solve them.

Why you?

Long before your interview begins, be ready to answer this question: “What can you bring to this position that no other candidate can?” This will be the most important– and most predictable– question your interviewers are likely to ask. Prepare a clear, convincing statement that you can deliver in 30 seconds or fewer.

Personal branding starts with memorability.

The ideal outcome of this interview is clear: You want to be hired. Which means you want to be respected, liked, and trusted. But to gain ground in any of these areas, you’ll also need to be remembered. You’ll have to say things no other candidate can say, and you’ll have to offer substance, not just buzzwords, fluff, and eye contact. Decide who you are and how you’ll present yourself before you step in the door. Create a distinct persona. Choose a signature color that represents you and incorporate that color into your clothing and portfolio materials. Enter with flair, and leave with decisiveness. As soon as you’re out the door, send handwritten thank you notes to everyone who interviewed you, reminding them of your interest and your most important credentials.

For more on how to create a strong, memorable, and competent impression during your interviews, reach out to the IT staffing experts at Tech Needs.

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