An interview is a conversation where you and your potential boss get to know each other. Sound scary? In this section, we tell you how to ace that conversation.
Ace the Interview
The best kind of an interview is a conversation. You and your interviewer are getting to know each other. So, sharpen your conversation skills: listen carefully, and answer questions directly. Let your interviewers find out who you are. If they like you -- and they should -- you'll stand out much more than someone who simply recited answers.
- Always be on time. Can we say that again? Always. Be. On. Time. In fact, be a little early.
- Make eye contact with your interviewer. Pay attention to body language. Learn the difference between closed and open body language, and stay open.
- Be observant about the interviewer. Does the interviewer have pictures of a baby on the desk? A movie poster on the wall? Sports trophies in a cabinet? Look for anything that might make a good conversation starter.
- Be observant about yourself. Are you feeling jittery? Do your answers start to ramble? If so, don't fluster yourself -- just identify the problem, adjust, and move on.
- Be ready for some of the typical -- and typically maddening -- interview questions. What's your greatest flaw? Where do you see yourself in five years? This type of question can be frustrating because it's so open-ended; but instead, look at it as a slow pitch that you can hit out of the park.
- Prepare your own questions. There will come a point in every interview in which you are asked: Do you have any questions? Always say YES. This is your chance in the interview to pick the topic of discussion, so steer the conversation toward your strongest traits.
The most common interview mistake is not being prepared. Practice your answers, mannerisms and follow up questions and increase the chances that you'll get the job you love.