How to Capture Attention in a Job Interview… and Keep It

capture attentionJob interviews are nerve-wracking experiences with so many dos and don’ts to remember. It’s important to come out with the feeling of knowing that you’ve made an impression on your job interviewers. How do you capture attention attention and hold it throughout?

If you don’t shine during your interview, they’ll forget you afterward. So, learn how to stand out with these top tips from leading business professionals.


Not preparing instantly reduces your chances of being noticed. Tom Jeffrey is the head of e-commerce and development at Jules B, a luxury clothing company based in Newcastle. He says:

“I always remember the interviewees who have clearly taken time to research the company, and it’s a bonus if a candidate has noticed something that we can do better!”

Drop some company statistics and achievements to highlight your homework. Politely (and with permission), go a step further and suggest some ideas for improvements. Another astute move is to go through the job specification before the interview and pull out key daily tasks of your prospective role. Subsequently, think of examples of how you’ve achieved these either personally or professionally. This gives you the opportunity to show your personality and injects action into your interview to make it more memorable.


Arriving after your interview start time will certainly ensure you’re memorable for the job interviewer, but for the wrong reasons. Do a dry run beforehand at the time your interview will take place to help you gauge the amount of time you need for travel. Being late only means you have to work twice as hard to wow your job interviewer. So, arrive early and give yourself time to relax and focus on doing a good interview.


Increasingly, candidates are failing to bring along clippings and evidence of their best work. You’re missing a trick if you do the same. A clever way to grab a job interviewer’s attention is to show them you’re confident in your abilities and are able to prove your worth. An innovative example of this is Robby Leonardi’s (Creative designer/developer) Super Mario themed interactive resume.

Address the Entire Panel

Once the interview has begun, following some small but essential steps can ensure you have the best chance of getting noticed and remembered by the interview panel. A regular point of frustration for many employers is whencandidates speak to only one member of the team interviewing them. Kitchen and homeware brand Andrew James’s marketing executive, Adam Jones says:

“It’s important to involve everyone when you’re answering in an interview, which you can do by just making eye contact with everyone as you talk.”

Ignoring one of your job interviewers puts you at risk of losing their attention — and that one person might make all the difference. We all want acknowledgment as individuals. So, speaking to your interviewer directly creates a deeper imprint.

Say Something Unexpected

According to experts, saying or doing something positively unexpected causes people to rate something more approvingly. A good tip for holding your job interviewer’s attention is to provide a short, interesting anecdote. This could be a crazy charity challenge or a notable work-related success  – anything unpredictable that is likely to impress your interviewer.


One of the most effective ways to capture attention in an interview is to show passion and excitement. This is crucial for PA and marketing executive at Joshua James Jewellery, Eve Lindström. She says:

Interviewees don’t have to have previous experience in the jewellery industry, but showing a true interest in the brand, products and customer experience is vital to their chances of employment.

Eve looks out for candidates who are friendly, talkative and knowledgeable about the jewellery sector. Moreover, for Eve, being open and eager to learn is an effective way to grab your interviewer’s attention and build a good rapport. Phil Harrison, the website and digital media coordinator at Westbrook Cycles, agrees.

“We need staff who are passionate about what we sell. An interviewee can turn up early and answer all of our questions, but if they don’t look and sound enthusiastic, they aren’t likely to get the job.”

Chances are, you might be the last person getting interviewed. Therefore, if you aren’t showing passion and energy for the role, your odds of being memorable soon evaporate.

Capture Attention, Don’t Seek Attention!

Although confidence and energy in the interview process are strongly encouraged, sometimes being overly audacious can come back to haunt you. A survey conducted by job website Career Builder revealed some of the worst attempts at trying to innovatively capture attention. They include an applicant who acted out a “Star Trek” role during their interview. Another called themselves their own personal hero. Finally, someone set fire to the interviewer’s newspaper while reading it when the interviewer said, “impress me”.

After the interview

One approach for endearing yourself to job interviewers and keeping their attention is to thank them afterward. Here are 10 ways to send a ‘thank you’ email after an interview.

In short, following these tips increases the probability that you’ll capture attention in your next interview. Although it’s a cliché, small things do make a difference. Just remember, don’t overdo it!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friend Seb Burchell of Visualsoft and our friends at LearningToLeap.



Also published on Medium.

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