Thoroughly research the company
Find out as much as you can about the company through annual reports, Newspapers, their website etc. Your effort will show in the job interview, and you’ll be seen as proactive, hardworking and astute. If you know the person interviewing you, look up their linkedin profile and get a feel for them and their background.
Dress appropriately to match the company culture
Many companies have gone to corporate casual. Check with your contact to see what they require. When in doubt, always err on the side of formal business attire.
Arrive 15 minutes early
Punctuality is a subtle clue about attitude and behaviour. Tardiness, no matter the excuse, is a major blunder. Research in advance what your parking options are and allow plenty of time. Remember to take change if parking meters are required.
First impressions, positive or negative, dramatically affect the ultimate evaluation. You can make or break a job interview within the first two minutes. Look in interviewer in the eyes & deliver a firm (but not hand crushing) hand shake. Remember their name and be sure to use it throughout the interview.
Be friendly and outgoing
Smile and say hello to everyone. A positive reaction from the support staff is an important factor in the evaluation. Many hires have been heavily influenced by an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist.
High self-esteem and self-confidence are the hallmarks of the successful individual. With confidence, be able to demonstrate how you have overcome obstacles.
The most effective job interviews are those where an active two-way conversation takes place. Not the typical question and answer type. Begin early in the interview to interject your own relevant insight. Remember, never interrupt your interviewer.
Establish your worth
Discuss your specific accomplishments that demonstrate a proactive attitude. Such as: have you created new procedures, done something not required, trained someone, etc. It’s always important to demonstrate how you either created revenue or saved expenses, and be specific about how you accomplished that goal.
Know your key strengths
Be prepared to discuss in detail and with examples your five or six main attributes. These should be the ultimate reason you get the job over someone else. Assuming you have done the proper homework on the company, these strengths should also be closely aligned to the key traits the employer is looking for in a person to fill their position.
Support statements about yourself with specific examples. These will provide legitimacy to your claims. Without them, the interviewer won’t accept them as valid.
Stay alert during the job interview. Maintain good eye contact. Sit forward in your chair. Be animated. Show high levels of interest and stay enthused. These actions can maintain or generate momentum during the interview. This is especially important when you are doing multiple interviews on the same day. The energy level must be as high for the last as it is for the first.
Ask probing questions
A few strategic questions can demonstrate your intelligence, analytical skills and assertiveness. Have these prepared from your research. Avoid superficial small talk.
Be positive about co-workers
Never bad mouth previous positions, companies or employers. No matter how well founded, this implies a negative attitude, typical of those who don’t take personal responsibility for their actions. Read this blog post if you want to read of a real life example.
Clearly state your interest
By the conclusion of the interview, state that you are definitely interested in the position and would like to know when the next step will take place. It’s best to demonstrate this interest throughout the session. Be careful not to go overboard.