Research the company\’s profile and background. Start by looking into their future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.
Learn your interviewer’s name and job position before going to the interview. You may need to call the company to find out.
Talk to current employees. Show initiative while getting a feel for the office environment. Learn as much as you can about the company from people who work there.
Know as much about the company as possible. You can\’t change your employment history or your qualifications, but you can work harder than every other applicant by being supremely knowledgeable about the company. Use the company\’s website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible.
Think of questions to ask your interviewer. Participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. It\’s a good idea to come prepared with at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer. (Avoid asking anything that could be easily answered through a quick internet search, or you will simply come across as lazy.)
Ask questions that reflect your interest in future prospects. “Which are new markets the company is planning to explore in next couple of years?” or “What are the chances for professional growth in this job opportunity?” both show that you want to be on the same page as the people you’ll be working for.
Ask questions to bond with the interviewer and project your enthusiasm. Inquire about his/her position and background or how long (s)he has been with the company.
Ask questions about what is discussed during the interview itself. Though you may be tempted to respond to everything with an “Absolutely!” or a “Sure thing!” to show how competent you are, this will actually make it look like you’re not listening. Show that you are paying attention by asking for more details whenever something isn’t clear. (Avoid asking questions for the sake of asking, though, or it’ll seem like you can’t keep up.)
Practice with a peer. If you have a friend who is also preparing for an interview, consider preparing together. Not only will this give you a way to structure your preparation, but it will also help you get comfortable with giving answers, telling anecdotes, and using appropriate terminology. Practice giving concise, complete answers and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer(s) while you give them. Make sure you aren\’t speaking too slow or too fast and that your answers are stated with confidence.
Get feedback from your peer. Even if you think their feedback isn\’t on the mark, it\’s something to consider: We don\’t always know how me come off to other people, and the actual interviewer could share some of the same concerns.
Know basically what you want to talk about before the interview. If you\’re stumbling and fumbling for an answer on a very basic question, you\’re not putting your best foot forward. Have your very basic answers down pat, and anticipate some of the tougher questions before you step into the interview.