Your job interview should be a two-way conversation that covers what you can bring to the position and company, as well as what you can expect in day-to-day responsibilities and culture. Expect your interviewer to take the lead with pertinent questions. Be prepared with questions that reflect your interest in learning more about the opportunity and company.
Many interviewers follow a common structure of first asking questions, then allowing time for you to do the same. Be sure you have some questions ready to demonstrate your interest in the position and company. Sometimes interviews are less structured and more of a dialogue between you and your interviewer. Whichever the style of interview, there are many ways to show your active interest.
Your first impression on the interviewer will impact the overall interview. Key things to assist you in making a positive impression include:
Your ability to project self-confidence about your abilities and experience will greatly enhance your opportunity to make a good impression. Your interviewer will assume that the way you act in the interview is how you will act on the job, so make sure you come across as alert and interested. Express your interest and excitement about the position, company, and its goals. Let your interviewer know you are willing to acquire new skills.
Body language is very important throughout your interaction with your interviewer. Make eye contact with your interviewer, sit up straight, and smile!
How you answer the questions posed to you is important. Keep in mind that the interviewer draws conclusions about you, your experience, and your attitude from the answers you give.
Ask questions at the end of your response to clarify or show further interest in the company. For example, “Is that similar to how your company would do it?” Questions about salary, benefits, and time off should be saved until you receive a formal offer or an indication that one is forthcoming. Your first interview is not the time to discuss these topics, unless the interviewer wishes to do so.
Remember that the interview allows the company to see why you are a better candidate than your competitors. This is your chance to demonstrate your strengths and give them a glimpse of your personality.