How standing out from the crowd got a dream job traveling the world – and all because of a day trip.

If there is one constant in my life and career it is that I have always done things a little bit differently. Multiple times I have transformed my own life. Multiple times I have landed dreams jobs. But better than that, multiple times I have helped others do the same.

Here is another real-life tale of how standing out from the crowd on a day trip ended up in a dream job traveling the world.

With a dissertation drawing to an end and a job offer on the table for September, a long summer stretched out before me. It was early Spring as I flicked through the recruitment pages of a paper, sat in my student room at the University of Durham. One job caught my eye – seasonal cabin-crew wanted, all-expenses paid interviews being held in Manchester.

Manchester. It was a city that I had heard a lot about but never been. I could attend the interview and then spend the rest of the day exploring the city for free. Without any experience in the industry, there would be strong competition – but I only needed to do enough to get shortlisted. So, I applied. There was nothing to lose – and a beautiful city to explore beckoned.

Interview day. The room was full of people. The agenda was filled with tasks after which, candidates were selected to go through to the next round. The spot for final places was going to be hard fought for – I figured I’d probably be “out” in the early stages. But the morning wore on and still no one had asked me to leave. I still had a full afternoon left to explore the city though!

Just before lunch the moment came. Candidates were split into groups and placed in different rooms. We were to await our fate. It reminded me of the X Factor. One room would be ecstatic and told they were through to the afternoon – others would be sent home. The door opened.

“I’m sorry to announce that….”

Really? About time!

“I’m sorry to announce that you have a big afternoon ahead of you. We want to see you all back after lunch.”

My plans for exploring Manchester were fast slipping away. Still, I kept doing the one thing I had been doing from the outset…. I was being different. I was being myself, uncompromisingly.

I never did get to see Manchester. Instead, I got to see the world. The recruiting team liked “flair and individuality” – they could provide the training and experience but what they couldn’t provide was “personality”. We often forget that in an interview we are selling ourselves. If we hide who we are, the organisation cannot provide a job offer – they cannot “see” us.

Be yourself. Don’t hide who you are in an interview – the only way to stand out from the crowd is by being you. It is 100% possible to get a great job with little or no experience – but you’ll have to bring something in return – YOU!

Five more interview tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

Smile, and be friendly with everyone.

Yes, with everyone! Give your best smile and be friendly with every employee you will meet. The employer might ask employees what they thought about you after your interview. Don’t let nerves prevent prospective colleagues seeing how approachable you are and how easy it would be to work with you.

Do your research on the company.

You need to demonstrate you know the company well. Make sure to visit their website and collect information about their history and values. They will almost certainly want to know why you’re applying for this position and what benefits you bring to their world.

Tip: a good research point is to look carefully at the person specification and role advertised so understand exactly what tasks are expected in relation to the job and what you can bring to enhance the team, the role, the company.

You only get one chance to make a first impression – make it count.

It is mandatory to be on time at a job interview. Not just on time: come 10 minutes early. It will show your future boss how punctual and organised you are. And make sure that first impression counts. Look the part – not just in how you dress professionally, but also that you are adopting a confident demeanor (even if inside you are quaking). We connect with someone within the first 20 seconds of meeting them – make it impressive.

Don’t forget non-verbal communication.

A staggering 93% of our communication is non-verbal. So it stands to reason that non-verbal communication plays a major role in a job interview. Are you looking at your feet? Do you have your arms folded? Do you lean back in your chair? All these signs will show the interviewer that your communication channels are “closed” and you are not interested in getting to know more about the role or your prospective employer. Keep in mind what your non-verbal communication is saying about you.

Tip: Don’t forget to give a nice and firm handshake to the employer before and after the interview. No one wants to shake hands with a damp lettuce leaf.

Be prepared for your interview.

If you want to show how serious and motivated you are about the job, always come to the interview prepared. If you have been asked to bring your CV, covering letter and references, have them with you. If you have tasks or presentations to give, make sure you arrive with everything you need (and back-up contingency plans for tech. failure). The employer will be impressed by your organisational skills! 

But over all else, be yourself.

The employer wants to learn about WHO they are inviting into their business, not just what experience and skills you bring to the role. You can train the right people to do the job; you cannot change the wrong people to be “right” no matter how experienced and skillful they are! So, YOU matter.

Find out more about career coaching here.


More posts about how to get a dream job:

How thinking outside the box landed a high-class dream job abroad with zero experience. [07.09.22]

Shhh, don’t tell the winning formula – or everyone will be able to get a dream job!! [08.09.22]

Dream jobs are real. Here’s why your dream job is waiting for you + 2 ways to land your perfect role. [11.09.22]


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I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
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