Here are a few “common sense” tips I give to people that apply to most interviews (regardless of the level of the position):
1. The most asked question by interviewers is “Tell me about yourself and your background.” Your answer to this question should be well thought out. You know it’s coming, so be prepared.
2. Be honest; don’t just say what you think the interviewer wants you to say.
3. Be direct. Don’t ramble. If you get off track, bring yourself back to the “specific question” that was asked. If you talk too much, the interviewer will want to get rid of you as soon as possible. However, if your answers are too brief, you may leave your interviewer unsatisfied and/or irritated. Find the balance.
4. Don’t take a trip to “negative town” when discussing your reasons for making a job change. If you start bashing your current employer, executive management’s decisions, your immediate manager and the work culture, people might think you had something to do with it! Instead, simply focus on the areas that YOU can control, such as your areas of growth, career path and goals. This is always safe territory.
5. Good eye contact is essential. Look your interviewer in the eye, especially when THEY are talking – but don’t stare.
6. Show your passion/energy/drive by explaining WHY this is the career path you have chosen.
7. Prepare a list of questions that specifically apply to the person/company you’re meeting with (it’s okay to ask the same questions to different people – to ensure continuity).
8. When you sense the interview is winding down, let them know you’re confident you can do the job – and you want the job.
9. Collect their business card – so you can send a thank-you note.
10. Have fun and smile.! 🙂