do your homework
During my days as a Recruiter I can not tell you the number of people who walked in to interviews knowing almost nothing about the role for which they were interviewing. It was my biggest pet peeve.
It's 2015 (almost 2016)... there is no END to the amount of research people can conduct. Company websites, review sites, Glassdoor, ALL social media, LinkedIn. Companies are everywhere. They post everywhere. PR Releases, product & services advertising, job posts... opportunity exists at every corner for YOU to learn about a company before you walk in the door.
You don't have to know everything. But learn enough to be dangerous :) And enough to sound impressive!
This is one of the most overlooked things I see candidates miss. Every interviewer will end their interview of you with exactly these words: "Do you have any questions for me [us]?" If the answer is no, the interview is over.
If the interview ends and you haven't had a chance to discuss all the things you wanted, you've missed a huge opportunity!
Prepare approximately 7-10 questions. Ask about 3, but have upwards to 10 so you have options, in case things are already covered before you get a chance to ask. What should you ask? Ask about the team you'll work with. Ask about the management/leadership style is of who you'll be working under. Ask "what does success look like for this role?" Ask about career trajectory within the company. Ask about culture... know everything you want and need to know in order to make an educated decision.
And don't leave without knowing next steps!! Otherwise, what was the point??
market, sell, pitch
It is not the interviewers' job to sell YOU. It's your job to sell them. At best it's a little bit of both. And yet, many people who walk in to interviews don't think through the best way to market or sell themselves or their skills.
Mostly because it's not easy to do. Self-promotion is tough and it's hard to know what to focus on that BEST highlights your skills. I recommend you think of 2 or 3 key projects you've worked on in your career and think about the actions YOU took to make that project successful. Think about challenges you had, tactical steps you took, think about the key performance metrics or indicators, outline the results of the projects and write out each scenario.
From there you'll form a story, a narrative, around who you are as an employee, leader, team player, and all around awesome person. You'll see repeating themes and you'll remember some of the great things you've worked on that you'll want to highlight in your conversation(s) with the interviewer(s). Write out a bullet pointed list and have it in your folder.
You've heard this 1000000 times... but it's true! Practice, practice, practice and then practice again. When I interviewed at LinkedIn I was almost 10 years in to my career, I had interviewed hundreds of people, I had prepped hundreds of people for interviews, I knew everything there was to know about interviewing... and yet I still practiced!! (and practiced and practiced... because I was REALLY nervous and I REALLY wanted the job).
You don't want the first time you're saying certain things about yourself or pitching yourself to be in a key, important moment... in front of someone you are truly trying to impress. Say the words out loud, record yourself, stand in front of a mirror, repeat... do what you need to do to build your confidence. I promise it will help!
By preparing in these ways you will release your nervous energy. You'll feel prepared, confident and ready-to-go. Interviewers want to get to know YOU... putting in this effort will help you put your BEST self forward.
I've recently released my 4th class on Udemy- Nail Your Interview! Learn more about all my classes here!
Always Be Learning...