Do Your Homework
If you have an interview lined up, make sure you know what the company does and understand their industry. More importantly, know the position well and, if you can, find out who will be conducting the interview. It’s much easier to prepare when you know the background of the person asking the questions.
The number one thing people need to do in interviews – whether it’s in-person or on the phone – is speak slowly! Don’t ramble. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” I would much rather hear that than filler words.
Think With Your Head
In the toughest interviews, I’ve witnessed people crumble under the pressure of ‘stumper’ question right off the bat. It doesn’t take long to realize when someone is in over their head. Really, though, these questions are just trying to let an interviewer see how you think and problem solve. It could be something as bizarre and basic as, “How do you build a sandwich?” –the point is to show your logical thought process.
Overinflating: Bad for Balloons, Bad for Interviews
Inflating your skills in an interview is never a good idea. Worst case scenario – you’re exposed and don’t get the job. Best case scenario – you fake it through the interview and end up getting the position…only to fail miserably when you land on the job. Neither option is great. Plus, the interviewer can almost always tell, anyway.
Don’t Do Anything Drastic
Any drastic changes from the first interview to the final interview are an immediate red flag for me. For example, one of my candidates asked for a 5% salary raise and an additional 2 weeks of vacation in their last interview. The final interview isn’t the place for those kinds of negotiations. Be up front when working with a recruiter, otherwise your original offer might be redacted.
Clinch the Job
The best advice I have for the end of an interview is to ask, “Are there any reasons why you think I wouldn’t be a good fit?” Taking this approach helps you see where you stand and gives you a chance to overcome any objections.