Interviewing 101

Do:

1. Arrive on time.

2. Establish rapport to be called back for a second interview.

3. Demonstrate by word and deed your fit for the position.

4. Project a professional image. Dress appropriately. In these more conservative times, it's better to dress more conservatively, at least for the first interview.

5. Go in prepared. Do your background research, including internet, newspaper, etc. about the company, products, services and the person you are meeting with.

6. Reflect on ways you could contribute to the company. Be concrete and use examples based on past history and contributions to current/previous company.

7. Be engaging. Let your enthusiasm and interest for the job shine through. Clients don't hire wooden boxes.

8. Use action verbs and appeal to the senses.

9. If you were part of a team effort, acknowledge the team's contribution. If your achievement was your contribution, let the interviewer know (without bragging).

10. Have fun and relax. If you are tense, you'll be seen as rigid and uncomfortable. Breath deeply before you start the interview and center yourself.

11. Debrief immediately with your recruiter (if you are being represented). Your thoughts and feedback will be helpful to the recruiter in his/her communications with the client, and can help influence decisions.

12. Send a thank you letter within 24 hours. This demonstrates your interest, attention to detail and another opportunity to market yourself. Reference key points covered during the interview and why you would be the perfect fit.

13. Be a role model for your profession.

Don't:

1. Oversell yourself. There's a time to sell yourself and your credentials, including presenting samples/portfolio. Watch for cues and clues. The conversation should shift to then discussing the job opening and its challenges/opportunities.

2. Undersell yourself. This is not the place to be modest. Make sure you can draw attention to specific accomplishments, and quantify and qualify them.

3. Go to an interview hungry. You will not be as alert. Make sure you eat beforehand. Likewise, eat ?lite.? You don't want to appear sluggish.

4. Ask to go to lunch or get a snack with your interviewer/hiring manager. The focus of the first interview is to get to know each other. The food and eating can be a distraction. If the hiring manager asks the candidate to interview over a meal, that projects a different, more informal message. Beware, however. It's still an interview -- you are being watched and evaluated.

5. Use jest or humor to joke about your potential employer's products, services or employees. The hiring manager is an extension of the company's brand. He/she is proud to work for the company. Why take pot shots? In addition, no swearing or off color jokes. You want to rise to the top, not stoop to the lowest denominator.

6. Be arrogant or haughty.

7. Talk badly of previous employers, employees or companies. It will come back to haunt you.

8. Tell lies. Be honest. It's the best policy. If you have something to hide, the future employer will find out.

9. Interview in a monotone voice. It's boring and puts people to sleep. Modulate your voice, use inflection. Smiling helps too. Practice in front of a mirror. Would you want interview yourself?

10. Take anything for granted or make assumptions. You have to earn the trust of the interviewer to be asked back.

The 5 Smartest Interview Moves

Ever wonder why you don't get called back after that first interview? What's holding you back from that great job while others are getting hired after shorter job searches?
It could be something you DIDN'T do.

Careerbuilder.com recently asked hiring managers what the smartest things are that a candidate can do in an interview. What are the traits of a good candidate? How can you make a good impression? Here are the top five ways to win over your interviewer and get a leg up on the competition.

1. Demonstrate or communicate your experience and skills
The number one thing a candidate can do in an interview is intelligently and clearly articulate professional experience, capabilities or knowledge. Hiring managers are most impressed when a candidate is able to "think on their feet" during the interview - this demonstrates competency. They're also impressed when a candidate takes an active role in helping a customer or rectifying a situation right on the spot, whether posed by the interviewer or introduced by the candidate.

2. Act professionally
A candidate who is professional during the selection process will stand out among fellow job seekers. When a candidate communicates intelligently, uses proper grammar, makes eye contact, listens and asks intelligent and relevant questions. This demonstrates how that person will act within the parameters of the position with coworkers and clients. A hiring manager will want to choose a candidate who will represent the company well.

3. Prepare
Skimming the company's website five minutes before you leave won't help you at all. Simple steps to prepare for the interview include researching the company, market and opportunity, arriving on time and dressing appropriately. Bring extra copies of your resume and work samples, as well as your portfolio. And, don't forget names of references and letters of recommendation. Thorough preparation for an interview can make or break your chances of landing the job. As someone once said - Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

4. Exhibit enthusiasm
Go ahead, be an eager beaver. Hiring managers are impressed when a candidate shows enthusiasm for the job and want to hire someone who is gung ho. The candidate who is ready and willing will likely carry those traits into the position. Plus, it demonstrates an eagerness to learn. This doesn't mean you need an overly peppy personality with perma-grin, but zeal for the position, the company and profession will show you'll go the distance.

5. Be honest
Be sincere and truthful about the past. Honesty shows that you have integrity. Be candid and open about past jobs. This doesn't mean you have to churn out all the dirty details of previous employers or supervisors. If you are coming from a bad experience, think of ways to put a positive spin on your previous situation. For example, if you were let go from your last job, be truthful without being negative and highlight your strengths or how you learned from that situation.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on landing that next interview today!