Whether you’re applying for a position at a large corporation or a job at a growing startup, the potential employer is likely going to have a lot of applications to comb through and some tough decisions to make before they settle on one particular candidate. When you’re interviewing, your first impression is often a lasting one, so it’s vital to leave a positive impression during the hiring process.

So, what’s the best way to leave a lasting impression on a potential employer? Ten members of Young Entrepreneur Council weigh in on what you can do to prepare and what you may want to say during the interview to put your best foot forward.

1. Display Company Knowledge Beyond The Basics

One of the best ways to make a strong impression is to display a thorough knowledge of the company, beyond the basics. If you can show that you’ve done research and understand the industry and the unique challenges the business is facing, you’ll stand out from other applicants. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

2. Explain How You Can Be A Team Asset

Employers want to hire people who can add value to the team. So, if you want to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, tell them how you can be an asset to their team. Use examples from the past to show how you solved a problem or accomplished something. This will help you stand out and make a positive impact on the interviewer. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

3. Demonstrate Learning But Show Humility

I don’t need you to be the smartest person in the room; I want you to have the most integrity. If you messed up in a previous job position, but tell me in an interview how you made it right and never repeated the mistake, I will respect your honesty. It shows me you are growth-minded and won’t shirk responsibility or accountability when the going gets tough. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

4. Prepare More Than A Simple Answer

An excellent way to help leave an impression on an interviewer is to have more than a simple answer ready for questions that you know will be asked. Instead, try and have a story ready that is entertaining, memorable and demonstrates your value. Humans work off stories, and this will help you stand out by linking your skills with something that has a better chance of sticking in their brain. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

5. Ask The Interviewer About Themselves

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To leave a lasting impression, ask the interviewer about themselves and how they got to where they are. It shows a growth mindset and will leave the interviewer with the impression that you see them as a potential mentor. – Jason Azevedo, MRCA

6. Know What The Company Is Looking For

Know what the interviewer and company are looking for. Mention skills, achievements and awards that will tick off their list of requirements to look for in an applicant. This means you read the job description, you relate to what they’re looking for and you are answering questions even before they ask, making their job easier. – Daisy Jing, Banish

7. Let Honesty And Your Personality Shine Through

Be honest! Be yourself! It is very easy to see through someone who is very rehearsed (very different from prepared) and someone who is being disingenuous. Honesty will always shine through. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

8. Find Common Ground Before The Interview

If you want to leave a lasting impression, then try to find common ground before the interview. This can be done by doing your research on people in the company and looking at their backgrounds and activities on LinkedIn. See if you have any shared connections or groups or if you have anything in common that would make for a good conversation starter. This will help break the ice. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Provide A List Of Reputable References

I’m always impressed when applicants give me a list of reputable references. We intentionally make this part of the application process optional. It’s interesting to see how willing people are to let you connect with their ex-bosses and co-workers. The way I see it, the more references, the better. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

10. Be Genuine About Your Skills And Experience

The best way to leave a lasting impression is to be authentic. It’s important to be genuine about your skills and experience, and showcase them in the best possible light. It’s also important to show that you’re a team player, not just someone who wants to work alone. You can do this by volunteering or by offering feedback on ways the company can improve. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

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