Be well rested. Come prepared and arrive on time. Read up and become well versed on the interviewer (if possible), the company, position specification, space to which they do battle, the companies competitor landscape, market leaders and market opportunities.
Dress the part. Need to “visually” fit within the culture but also the role you are applying for. If it’s a sales role, the interviewer will visualize what you’ll look like in front of a client.
Be yourself. Be positive, attitude is everything. Keep an open mind. Smile. Show your personality. The interviewer is thinking; can I work with this person? Do I like him/her?
- Is he/she “coachable”? Will he/she listen to feedback/instruction in a positive way? Is this person smart? Lastly, could I work for this person?
Engage, make eye contact.
- Start the meeting off with the right framework. Ex: You appreciate them spending the time with you. After that, key questions to set the stage: How much time do you have? What experience/characteristics are you looking for in this role? Or what in the interviewers opinion is the ideal profile for this role? You ask this so you can align your background, with examples, to the needs of the client as you go through your resume or conversation. If you don’t, you’re shooting in the dark. You won’t really know what they want. If you can, try to ask every interviewer these questions. They’ll usually all have different answers and opinions!
- Don’t “wonder” in the conversation. Be engaging yet crisp, not verbose.
- Prepare a couple of thought provoking questions (per interviewer) that you can ask at the appropriate time in the interview process. On the whole, these questions should pertain to the interviewers area of expertise, responsibilities and department to which they work. Often times, many people in different parts of the company will interview you. Try not to force them in; work the flow of the interview.
Prepare for potential questions on why the company should hire you, your thoughts on hiring/firing, leading, managing, team dynamics, growth, failure, risks taken, career objectives, strengths/weaknesses etc. Come prepared to discuss examples of actions taken that resulted in success which closely match position specification needs.
- Closing. Usually, you’ll get a sense if the meeting has gone well or not. If so, ask about next steps and the timing of next steps.
Follow-Up – Send a short, thoughtful note thanking the person for his/her time. Reference something the interviewer may have said that you learned from and next steps that were discussed in the interview.
Assuming you have the necessary experience and skills for the position; what is it going to take to stand out from the others? Rest and preparation are keys for giving it your best shot for furthering your case as to why a company should hire you. Focus on the above areas and don’t worry about things out of your control. Good luck!