Although not explicitly, hiring managers judge interviewees on how interesting they are. In this case, interesting means “engaging,” “knowledgeable,” “confident,” and “enjoyable to talk to.” How interesting you are during an interview gives hiring managers insight into the value you might bring to their company and how well you might fit into their company’s culture. So, here are four ways to be more interesting in interviews.
1. Make sure to have a two-way conversation—don’t do all the talking
If you want to leave an impression of being interesting, it’s important that your interview be a two-way conversation. One way to do this is to prepare possible questions to ask your interviewers—during the course of the interview and at the end when you’ll inevitably be asked if you have any questions.
During the course of your interviews, look for openings that allow your interviewers to say something about themselves or offer their points of view and opinions—just like you would in any good conversation. And at the close of your interview, make sure you ask engaging and unique questions that will make the discussion interactive—and stay away from yes or no questions.
Most people refrain from even asking a single question in their interviews. Don’t make this mistake! Ask intelligent and valid questions to show your interviewer that you’re not only interested in the job but also an interesting person.
2. Do your research
It’s essential to be knowledgeable about the employer you’re interviewing with, the specific role you’re applying for, and your profession. If you tick off these boxes, you’ll come across as knowledgeable and prepared—and interesting.
So, first, always try to read as much information as you can about the company you’re applying to. Expressing your knowledge (and being able to speak intelligently) about the company proves to your interviewer that you’re interested in what their firm does. As a result, your interviewer will find it easier to engage with you. It will allow them to speak more specifically about the company and what they’re looking for in a new hire.
In addition, ensure that you fully understand and know what you’ll be expected to do in the role you’re applying for. Also, you should be able to speak about your previous jobs and tasks. One of the most important aspects of an interview is to know how to apply what you’ve done in the past to what you’ll be doing in the future.
Finally, it’s essential to be able to answer basic questions regarding your own profession. In most cases, you’ll be interviewed by someone with experience in your profession. If you know all about current trends and news in your field, the interview will be more engaging—you and your interviewer will easily find relatable (and interesting) topics to discuss.
3. Prepare your sales pitch for why you should be hired
Interviewers only have a limited time to get to know you and assess you. In that limited time, you need to impress them. The easiest way to do this is to prepare your sales pitch ahead of time. Make sure you can be quick, interesting, and efficient in how you present yourself. Talk in a manner that makes your interviewer invested and curious to know more about you. Don’t talk in a dull and “pre-programmed” tone that will make the interview boring. If you can present your pitch with some real conviction, you’re bound to be perceived as highly qualified and interesting.
4. Plan for your future before your interview
Before you interview with an employer, it’s important to prepare a plan for what you’ll do after you join that employer—such as stay with the employer for a long time and rise the ranks, or build on your skills and experience and ultimately join another employer or go back to school. Having a plan is a great way of keeping your interviewer interested in you—it shows that you’ve given a lot of thought about your career and future.
Of course, you want to make sure your plan will make the employer more interested in you, not less. For example, if an employer is fine with employees getting experience and then leaving, that’s okay to convey. But if an employer only wants long-term professionals, you don’t want to be too quick to say you intend to stay for only a short time.
What’s important here is that you get across that you’re a thoughtful person with clear goals. That type of candidate is rare, valuable, desirable, and very interesting to employers.
Charlotte Lin is a content creator at escaperoom.com. She’s passionate, a mother to an amazing nine-year-old, and an avid reader. Over the years, writing has helped her explore and understand the world as well as her own self. She loves to travel, meet new people, and spend quality time with her daughter. You can find her on LinkedIn.
When you tell compelling stories in interviews, you create connections with your interviewers in ways that just listing your accomplishments (no matter how extraordinary) can never do. Stories connect people to each other because our brains love to follow stories.