How To Stand Out In An Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

So you’ve landed an interview.  Now, how do you stand out from the other candidates?  Below are nine suggestions you can use to prepare for your interview, conduct your interview, and follow-up after your interview.

Pre-Interview Activities

  • Identify your strengths and skills.  What makes you a better fit for the organization than the other candidates where you will be interviewing?  Focus on you and not your opponents.
  • Create answers to interview questions that you will most likely be asked.
  • Research the company and know the history of the company and the goals of the company.
  • Video/record yourself answering interview questions.  You will want to critique your performance.

Activities During The Interview

  • Know that first impressions are key.  This includes making eye contact, being friendly to everyone, and having a strong handshake (not too aggressive, not too limp).
  • Make the interviewer fall in love with you.  You can do this by being prepared through the pre-interview activities, and also by creating a common bond.  What do you have in common with the interviewer?  Do you have common friends, common interests, or common hometowns?  Try to build a relationship or chemistry with the interviewer.
  • Avoid saying anything negative about your current or former boss.  If you have negative feelings toward a former boss, be prepared to answer the question – “why did you leave your previous position?”
  • Make the Employer seem special.  Make them feel that you are passionate about both the job and the company.

 Post-Interview Activities

  • Send a thank-you note or e-mail to everyone you met during your interview.  In your note, let them know that you want the job, that you believe that you’re a good fit (list the reasons), and let them know how you can solve their problems (or achieve their goals).  Try to strengthen your connection with each person.

These nine suggestions are just some of the basics you will want to use to give yourself a leg up on your competition.  The key is that you are prepared for your interview, you make a connection during the interview, and you show them how you can help them to achieve their goals.  Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS! 


Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at


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