Advice: "I finally got an interview at my dream company. What can I do to stand out from the pack?"

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Dear Quota Team,

I’m writing in with some good news! I've got a great opportunity in front of me. I just landed an interview with my dream company (the company is a household name you'd immediately know). I've loved this company since I was a kid and I've always wanted to work there. 

I've applied for various roles throughout my 20 year career in sales, but I finally landed an interview, this time for a Director of Sales role. My resume speaks for itself. Not to toot my own horn or come off as cocky, but I've had some great success in my career as an individual contributor and most recently as a sales leader. 

I know I can crush the interview, but I also know that this is a super competitive role and there will be a lot of equally qualified applicants – everyone wants to work for this company. 

I've been trying to think of some ways that I could stand out in the interview process. Aside from my experience or being an overt 'fan-boy' of the company, what are some ways I can differentiate myself and increase my chances of landing the job? Any advice is appreciated! 

Looking for an edge in Oregon 

--

Dear Looking,

Congratulations on landing the interview. And based on your location, we have a pretty good guess as to what company you’re talking about. 

Here’s how to set yourself apart: be the most prepared person to interview for the role. 

You should show up to the interview with a comprehensive understanding of not only where the company currently stands in terms of strengths, weaknesses, short-term and long-term initiatives, but you should also understand those same things about the particular division where you’re applying to work.

Taking it a step further, you should figure out what initiatives the company’s main competitors are launching, and be ready to explain why or why not you agree with those decisions. The point is that you should show your interviewers that you’re not only going to be ready to hit the ground running, but that you’ve already planned out your first six to twelve months on the job.

In that same vein, coming in with a plan (literally, a pre-written plan of action from day one through your first year) will show that you’re the most prepared person who is angling for the job. Again, the key is to make the people who hired you look like geniuses, and the more convinced they are that you’re the perfect candidate to make them look good, the higher your chances for landing the job. 

Good luck, you’ve got this! 

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