In addition to the tips I shared in Preparing for an Interview, here are some tips for the actual interview. Armed with these tips you should be able to take your interviewing skills to an advanced level and perhaps even knock out the competition!
It’s All Part of the Interview
Above all, remember, it’s all an interview. From the moment you walk in the door, your chatter with the receptionist, your job shadow with an employee through to your exit, consider it all part of the interview. Oftentimes these “third parties” are asked for their input on you as well and you want that report to show your professionalism, that you asked good questions, and if possible, that you displayed some of the needed skills already.
Don’t Introduce Distractions into the Interview
Above all, don’t introduce distractions into the interview process. It’s quite common to be offered a coffee or water during the interview process. Unless you feel you need a beverage to help with a “nervous dry mouth,” try to avoid accepting beverages. They take the focus off you and worst case, you spill the drink out of nervousness as you are speaking. Ikes!
Tied to this, turn off your phone or don’t even bring it in with you. If you do bring it in with you, turn off the ringer and turn off vibrate. If you can believe it, I’ve actually had someone take a call during an interview! Needless to say, they did not get the job.
Personalize the Interaction
To help make your interview memorable, personalize the interaction. Make sure to call the interviewers by their name periodically. This will show that you care about them personally and that you’ve done your homework (Tip: Use LinkedIn to find their pictures ahead of time and memorize who is who; interview introductions can be a hard time to remember names!).
To further personalize the interview, maintain good eye contact with everyone in the room throughout the interview. If there is just one main person asking the questions, maintain your focus on them, but don’t forget about the notetaker. They are just as important. Don’t forget to nail your answers down with eye contact with them as well.
Don’t Be Too Modest
It can be hard to talk about ourselves in a success-oriented manner. In an interview though, you have to do exactly that. You don’t want to just tell them you can do the job, you want to show them you can do it really well. A word of caution, there’s a fine line between highlighting your talents and bragging or stretching the truth. Make sure that you are genuine, honest, and not boastful.
How Do You Fare in these Areas?
Interviews can be challenging. What are the areas you find the easiest and where do your challenges lie? What’s your best interview tip?