Yes, you will differentiate yourself from other candidates through your accomplishments, education and prior work experience but you really will single yourself out if you are curious throughout the process. I mean that when you write your cover letter, spend time on your potential employer’s website — see what is ahead for them. Is it a big event, campaign, membership drive they are working on? Can you find it in your heart to wish them success even before they hire you? I am not talking about kiss-ass stuff. I am talking about understanding what their WORK is about and what they need to accomplish before their day ends.
By asking, wondering and mentioning you are already initiating the partnership. I think that everyone is trying to get through the day — even those on the other side of the interview table.