Think of the interviewer as your advocate in convincing the company to hire you. Your goal is to get the interviewer excited about representing you.
· Interviewers want candidates to be likable - warm and friendly, yet professional and not too informal. If the interviewer finds you likable, he/she can recommend you for a job confident that the next interviewer will like you, too.
· Interviewers often begin an interview with: Tell me about yourself. This question is not about sharing personal/biographical information. They are looking for a summary of your qualifications and experience and anything else work-related you’d like to share. This is your opportunity to highlight the things about your professional self you absolutely want them to know.
· Another common question is What is your greatest weakness? Stay away from answer like I‘m a perfectionist, or, I care too much. Tell about a genuine weakness that won’t adversely affect your ability to do the job, and that you are working on like: I tend to get nervous if I have to speak in front of large groups, so I’ve joined a local Toastmaster’s group to get support in this area.
· Interviewers want candidates to be uniquely qualified. Think about the question: Of all the candidates applying for this position, why should a company hire you? What is it about your skills and experience that makes you stand out? Be prepared to communicate your qualifications, both personal and technical, in a succinct way.
· Interviewers are interested in hearing about proven results: be prepared to discuss successful projects you’ve played a key part in.
· Interviewers want to know how you respond under pressure: be prepared to discuss a time when impressive problem-solving skills, or exceptional people skills, helped you overcome a challenge on the job.
· Interviewers want candidates to be flexible. Be prepared to discuss how you will contribute to the solution, rather than the problem, when unexpected obstacles present themselves.
Here are some additional tips that may seem to be no-brainers, but bear a mention:
· Be punctual. (Read to the end of this one.)Being late is considered disrespectful of the interviewer’s time. However, if the interviewer is late, do not show any impatience. Chances are he/she has a full slate of meetings for the day, and may be running a bit late.
· Be sure your cell phone is on silent. Vibrate is a sound.
· Be prepared to ask relevant questions. Not doing so can make you appear to be unprepared or disinterested.
· Send a thank you email within 24 hours. Make sure you get the correct email address and spelling of the interviewer’s name. A simple way is to ask for the interviewer’s business card if he/she hasn’t given you one.
· Be sure you are clear about next steps before you leave.
· Your interview begins the second you walk into the building, so carry yourself with a friendly kind of confidence. You never know if the people you meet in the security area, reception area, or the elevator, are people who will be influential in landing the job.