It has been said jokingly that job interviews are like first dates — good impressions count, awkwardness can occur, and outcomes can be unpredictable. For this reason, many people find the entire interview process to be nerve-wracking, fear-inducing, and dreadful. Who wants to sit in front of at least one stranger and answer probing questions about themselves, their character, and overall work history? Well, since job interviews don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, then perhaps the best step to take is to reimagine what it is you’re stepping into as an interviewee. What makes an interviewee stand out amidst the crowd?

The best interviewees are those that come prepared. Companies love to see someone who has done their research and gathered information independently. People who have paid attention to trends and can ask informed questions about business decisions show that they have an interest in the company’s trajectory. It reflects well on the prospect as it showing that they are not viewing this as just another company interview.

Interviewees that are able to have a natural conversation will be remembered. While it’s important to know the subject matter and have technical expertise, it’s the ability to process information and deliver it in a manner that reflects the human element which is vital. Interviewers want to feel as though they’ve formed a connection with the candidate and that’s best reflected in the conversational rapport. The time together shouldn’t feel too stiff or mechanical.

Great interviewees don’t have to fake it, stage it, or manufacture it. It’s apparent by spending some time with them that they’ve done their homework and can speak with authority about their role and the company. They’re looking to know what are the biggest challenges and opportunities and give the sense of whether or not they’re ready to tackle them. This goes beyond a resume or CV. Great interviewees don’t feel the need to rehash their work history on paper. That speaks for itself. They’re able to have a conversation about the future and how they’ll best fit into it for the company.

Keeping these things in mind will set you up for success in the hiring process and beyond. People will remember fondly the time they spent with you above the other potential candidates. And in this way, you’ll be able to fit in with any company or organization by being the standout interviewee in high demand.