It’s no secret that getting onto college courses is difficult. In some cases, there are hundreds of applicants for a small number of places. If you are preparing to fill in a form or attend an interview, it’s essential to give yourself the best possible shot. In this guide, we’ll explore some effective strategies to help you stand out.
Highlight your strengths
The most important golden rule to remember when you submit an application or attend an interview for a course or a graduate role is to highlight your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but it’s important to recognize your strengths and show employers or admissions panels how you can utilize your skills or specific personality and character traits to excel. Take the opportunity to talk about what sets you apart.
Preparation is key when it comes to interviews and completing personal statements or answering searching questions. If you have an interview coming up and you’re competing against a pool of talented individuals, you need to be able to turn heads and make the members of the panel remember you. Preparing for the event can give you confidence and help you to gain a better understanding of what to expect when you arrive on the day. You could consider taking workshops or doing an HBS mock interview, or you may wish to talk to people who have been through the process before or work through some model questions and answers. It is particularly beneficial to devote time to preparation if you tend to get nervous or you lack confidence when under pressure. Practising answering questions and engaging in conversation can help you to build confidence and ensure you get your message across.
Tell your story
If you are applying for a place at a prestigious college, or you are trying to get a job that hundreds of others have applied for, there is every chance that on paper, you are very similar to other candidates. If everyone is on a level playing field in terms of grades, it’s essential to be able to distinguish yourself. Use interviews and applications to tell your story, showcase your personality and encourage the panel to get to know you. Explain why you want the opportunity and why it means so much to you, and offer an insight into what has influenced you and brought you to this point in your life.
Show your passion
It isn’t easy to put yourself in front of a panel of people and subject yourself to tough questions in a pressured environment. If you’re willing to do this to secure a place on a high-profile course or program, it’s because you’re passionate and motivated. Use your interview to show the panel how passionate you are and explain what drives you. If you have the same credentials as other candidates on paper, a panel will make selections based on other factors, including your personality and how you come across during your interview. A passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, confident, compelling individual is more likely to impress than somebody who seems like they don’t really care about the prospect of being offered a place.
Applicants for competitive college courses often have to outshine many others to secure an offer. If you are preparing for interviews or filling out forms, it’s essential to give yourself the best possible shot at success. Take these tips on board to help you stand out from the crowd.