I have interviewed thousands of people over the years and I am still impressed by those who follow some very basic and common-sense rules. It’s the little things that make a big impression.
1 – Show up *on time (*this means 10 minutes early). Better that you wait for the interviewer for a few minutes than the opposite. Showing that you respect and value their time by being on time speaks volumes. In addition, if you want the job, the interviewer needs to know that they can count on you to be there.
2 – Listen! A good interviewer will explain how the interview will progress and they will ask good questions. Listen to what they are asking and answer the questions. Stay on track, avoid going off on tangents, and answer what you are asked. Most importantly, don’t interrupt, it’s just plain rude. It’s ok to ask a clarifying question, however, do so after the interviewer is done asking his or her question.
3 – Be Prepared. This means not only showing up on time and listening, but also doing your research in advance about the position and the company. Come to the interview with a list of pointed questions (5 – 10) for your interviewer and inquire in advance who you will be interviewing with so you can prepare appropriately.
4 – Be gracious and don’t burn bridges. The interviewer and you just spent 30 – 60 minutes together discussing a position with their company. Maybe that position is for you and maybe not, but either way, thank them for their time and the knowledge they shared with you. Always send a thank you note/email after the interview, regardless of whether you want the position, as you never know how this person or company may cross your path again in the future.