In any hiring environment, competition can be fierce.

But your greatest opponent? It’s yourself.

Going in underprepared can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You can start to doubt yourself and those doubts can leak into the minds of recruiters.

It’s alright to be anxious, but with the right mindset not only can you beat your anxiety, but you can beat the competition, too!

Here are 5 secrets to successful interviews that will leave your stress (and your competition) in the dust!

1. Put the “U” in UNIQUE!

If every candidate was the same, there wouldn’t be any need to have interviews at all.

When you need to think about why you should be chosen instead of them, focus on what sets you apart as an individual!

What is your “specialty” when it comes to your line of work? What do you do that no one else can? In other words, what is your niche?

What makes you unique amongst other candidates in line for your next job?

2. E + L = G

Don’t just give your interviewers a birds-eye view of who you are. Bring them down to earth with real, tangible examples.

Most interviewers will ask about examples of behaviour from your past. Often, these prompt you to describe an EXPERIENCE, what you LEARNED, and how you decided to GROW.

The EXPERIENCE + LEARN = GROW line of questioning is where you can lay out your measurable achievements. By providing detailed, quantifiable information, you can actually prove your best attributes, and give employers real-world examples they can relate to their business!

What examples and past events do you have to share?

3. Let the numbers do the talking

Beyond simply talking about your past behaviours, you should also provide concrete data about your accomplishments.

The number of clients you’ve served, the amount of time you’ve spent using a certain tool, your sales figures…any way you can back up your claims and reinforce your value will reinforce your chance of a successful interview!

A great way to describe your past successes is using the same metrics that your potential employer uses.

Do they sell cars? If so, how many have you sold?

Do they develop apps? If so, how many apps have you developed?

Do they publish journalistic articles? If so, how many times have you been published?

What numbers do you have that you should show your next recruiter?

4. Show off your soft skills

Interviews usually happen when a recruiter already has a decent idea of your work history and qualifications.

What they haven’t seen on paper, is who you are in person!

Soft skills like communication, emotional intelligence, manners, integrity, listening skills — these are all things that they are very interested in seeing in you now that you have a chance to meet. These are the skills that a lot of employers are specifically looking for in the current job market.

Let yourself feel confident that if you’ve made it to this stage, then they see you as a qualified candidate in terms of your resume. Now is the time to focus on your personality.

Pro Tip: The more you know about their company culture, the better you can adapt to what they’re looking for in a good fit for their team dynamic. You don’t have to be a clone of the people who work there, but you should be able to get along easily.

How can you show off your personality to employers?

5. Make it a one player game

Remember how we said your biggest opponent is yourself?

Well one of the best ways to stop putting unnecessary challenge on yourself is to stop thinking about the challenge that other candidates present.

At the end of the day, you cannot control anything except what you do and how you react to the things that others do. That means that if you stop thinking about what they’re doing, you can start focusing on all the things you can do to help yourself.

If your goal is to become the best person you can be, then that has to come from within. Stop looking at external sources to measure whether you feel happy with your performance. Whether someone else gets the job, or a recruiter tells you no, that only defines what they’ve decided is best for them.

You still deserve the best for yourself, and by focusing on just yourself, you can get exactly what you deserve!