Tips to Stand Out in a Fortune 500 Company Interview

by Adewumi Kojusola

Fortune 500 Company Interview

Fortune 500 companies provide job security, the edge of growing your professional network, and other career opportunities, which is why they are a top career destination. If you have a chance to interview with one of such companies, you will inevitably be interviewing alongside other bright and clever applicants.

Here are some essential tips to help you stand out in a Fortune 500 company interview:

1) How You Present Yourself During the Interview Matters

Dress appropriately for the interview, show up 10 minutes early, and be positive when you greet the interviewer. Your attitude and how you connect with the interviewer will leave a longer lasting impression than some of the answers that you give.

2) Connect the Dots

Depending on the situation you find yourself in, if the discussion ever goes in the direction of what you can offer, it helps to focus on skills that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for—as against running down the responsibilities you performed in your previous jobs. This way, you will not be stuck in the past, but forward-looking.

3) Be Brief

No ranting or unnecessary details, get down to the darn point. Some of the comments you will be reacting to might not take you more than a couple of minutes. The more you talk, the more chances of you stumbling or going off tangent.

4) Listen a Lot, Talk Less

Recruiting managers at Fortune 500 companies usually hold years of experience. Therefore, make sure you understand the question before answering. If you need to clarify something, just do so. Better be safe than answer the wrong question. Further, some interviewers may appreciate your diligence.

5) Your Answer to Questions and Other Comments Should Be on an “as Requested” Basis

That way, the doors to the discussion line will be open, and your interviewer will feel free to dictate the pace of the interview. If you're being asked questions about your weaknesses, provide an answer to just that. If the discussion is geared toward why you’re interested in the position, stay on point. Although some questions may sound broad, they are all asked in the context of the specific position and organization you’re interviewing at. Keep your answers relevant.

6) Be Prepared to Ask Questions

Of course, your interviewer will throw some questions at you, but are you ready to ask yours? If at the end of the whole affair, your interviewer requested for your questions and you don’t have any, that is an indication that you either lacked interest in the job or were not paying attention. When asking your questions, ensure that your queries are thoughtful, purposeful, and helpful.

7) Be Openminded and Alert

Sorry to disappoint you, but not one out of the many case studies cited in this post may ever feature in your interview. For one, you might be expecting a panel interview whereas what you will encounter on that day is a situational interview. That is why you should be ready to swim in any direction the interview takes you.

8) Answer the Salary Question Wisely

Be careful if the interviewer asks about your salary expectations. You want to provide a salary range instead of jumping right ahead quoting figures. Assuming you've done your homework, you would have decided on a suitable salary range. Compare the interviewer’s range with yours and respond accordingly. If the interviewer’s range is below yours, not to worry—you have the negotiation phase for this.

9) When Discussing Your Past Failures, Keep Them Short, Inconsequential and Constructive

If asked about your past weaknesses or failures, choose the ones that do not relate or have little impact on the position you’re applying to. Mention the weakness or failure and then quickly move on to what you learned from the experience, making sure to emphasize specific traits and skills that led to how you were able to improve, recover or manage the situation.

10) Get Intentional About Following-up

As you know, a follow-up is your last opportunity to convince the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job.

Bryan Clayton, CEO of Greenpal, provided one example of a good follow-up. He singled out an applicant who sent him a thank-you note while attaching an article from a trade publication emphasizing the discussion they both had at the interview.

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Fortune 500 companies are highly competitive, so the chances of getting in are forever limited. If you want to get the job, you need to stand out. Make sure to spend the time required to prepare adequately. Good luck!

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