6. Practice the basics. You know you’re going to be asked the following: “Tell me about yourself”; “What are some of your weaknesses?”; “Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager”; “Why do you want to work for XYZ Corp?”, so have well-crafted, concise, intelligent and creative responses ready.
7. Make the interviewer’s job easy. The interviewer is probably almost as nervous as you are. Anything you can do to make his or her job easier will be a huge boost for you. Remember — it’s a conversation. Don’t hog the discussion, tell rambling, self-serving stories, or make the interviewer drag information out of you piece by piece.
Sample comment: “I wish they knew that I don’t care about past paychecks or stories, just what they are going to do for me and how they will help this company get to the next level.”
8. Prepare intelligent, thoughtful questions. The questions you ask the interviewer are as important to your suitability for the job as the ones the interviewer asks you. Note: asking about pay, benefits or time off at the start of an interview doesn’t qualify as either intelligent or thoughtful.
9. A professional, polished resume. These things will get you put in the “no” pile immediately: typos and grammatical errors; a generic resume with no specifics; an inappropriate email address (a real example: firstname.lastname@example.org); a cover letter that’s not keyed to this particular job. When emailing your resume as an attachment, use your full name in the file name, as in “Susan Jones Resume” and not “My Resume”.
10. Don’t forget your manners. Introduce yourself politely and remember the interviewer’s name. Don’t take a seat until offered one. If someone else comes into the interview and is introduced to you, stand up. Say “please” and “thank you”. On the way out, thank the secretary or receptionist — and make sure you got his or her name, too. Send a hand-written thank you note within 24 hours of your interview.
11. Ask for the job. Too many candidates hold back for fear of looking too eager or too anxious. If you think you’re a good fit for the job, and you want to work for the company, say so. It shows your passion for the opportunity and your willingness to take a risk and try to close the deal now.