What are the most important things interviewees should do to set themselves apart? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Aarthi Srinivasan, Head of AI Solutions Product Management, on Quora:

Before I answer this question, I think you should introspect on 3-5 things that are most important to you in your life (behavioral research suggests that our working memory cannot manage more than 3 - 5 at a time.)

This exercise helps you focus on your core values and provides the framework to introspect on what type of work environments would be successful for you.

Once you do this, you can focus on preparation which is the most important part. You have to introspect on why you are excited about this job and what you can bring to this job. If you have done this research for every job interview, you can be genuine and excited about the role during the interview.

  1. Things that stand out in the interview relate to preparation about the company, about your strengths and tying your strengths to the desired role.
  2. Learning to relax under pressure is always a good skill and even more important in interviews. Mindful breathing, visualizations, walking, push-ups (without soaking your interview attire), power pose, etc. are some of the tools that interviewees can do prior to entering the interview room. I have seen really talented candidates who are stressed and talk too fast and fail to communicate their views. If you manage the context without thinking of this process as the interviewer judging you, you can cool your nerves. Thinking about the worst-case scenario of not getting the job and still surviving with a backup plan. This is an important thought process to boost confidence before you start the whole interviewing process.
  3. Doing your research on the interviewers can help you think through the possible questions and practice for a 2-way conversation as opposed to a question and answer session. Think of the interview as a conversation but prepare for a question and answer session so you have all your answers ready even in conversation mode.

On Linkedin Learning, Jodi Glickman talks about pitching yourself, where she shares the framework of

a) Knowing your destination

b) Creating the backstory and

c) Connecting the dots

The destination is your vision of what you want to do in the future so paint that picture in the interview. Use your past accolades to connect to this destination.

Your interview is an opportunity to connect, be genuine (as you will spend more than half of your day here so do your homework), and validate what you learned about the company through glassdoor and other friends/referrals, etc so you can understand the company mission and can add value there if it is a fit.

Good luck and practice a lot.

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