Before The Interview
Research the Company
Make sure you research the company before you go for your interview. Go to the company webpage and read press releases. Conduct a web search and find out any recent news from the company. Displaying knowledge of the company is a way to let the interviewer know that you are serious about the position.
Questions to Expect
There are some common interview questions that you will likely be asked, and you should take some time and think about how you will answer them.
Tell me about yourself?
This opened-ended question is a typical way for an interviewer to begin. It starts conversation and allows them to get a sense of who you are and your priorities. What is important for you to remember is to keep your answer to this fairly short, and stick with details about your professional career.
Why should I hire you? This is another chance for you to explain to the hiring manager how your background matches the description of their ideal candidate. Go through your experience and talk about how it relates to the position.
Why are you interested in this job? This is your chance to demonstrate that you did some research about the company and talk about what you found out that makes you want to work here. Hiring Managers and interviewers want to hear about how you're excited about the opportunity with their company, not that you are just looking for a job anywhere.
What is your greatest strength/areas you want to improve? For both of these questions make sure that you keep your answer work related. When asked your greatest strength this is your opportunity to explain what makes you special and why you'd be a great person to hire. When asked your greatest weakness one of the worst answers that you can give is "I don't have one" or "I can't think of any". For this question you should point out some minor work related weakness and anything that you've done to help correct it.
How has your training/education prepared you for this job?
What would your teachers, former employers or references say about you?
Do you understand that you may be subject to drug test and background check if you are extended an offer of employment?
When are you available to start working?
Questions To Ask
Prepare some questions about the company. Most interviews will end with the hiring manager giving you an opportunity to ask any questions that you have about the position or the company. Take some time before the interview to think of a few questions that you'll ask at this time. If you don't ask any questions the hiring manager may take that as a sign that you aren't as interested in the position or that you don't know much about the position/company.
Would you describe a typical work day?
Can this job lead to other positions within the company?
What skills are most important for this position?
If hired, would I report directly to you, or to someone else?
What is the wage or salary being offered?
Do you provide training?
When can I expect to hear from you?
Dress the part!
One of the first things that an interviewer will notice and use to evaluate you is how you are dressed. It's important that you show up looking your best. For men, a suit, pressed dress shirt and tie are standard interview attire. If you don't own a suit, then a collared shirt and dress pants are a good alternative. Women should wear a clean, pressed blouse and suit or skirt and make up should be subtle and in good taste. Even if you are applying for a job in a casual office environment it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Never wear shorts, jeans, or athletic shoes to an interview.
Be on time
Make sure you have directions to the location of the interview, and if necessary do a trial run so you know how long it will take you to arrive. You should arrive at the interview location 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Arriving more than 15 minutes after your scheduled time should be avoided, since some interviewers see this as being disrespectful of their time and ignoring your appointment.
During the interview make sure you stay aware of your body language. When you sit down maintain good posture. Don't slouch in your seat and you may even want to lean forward slightly in your chair to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
When you first meet your interviewer give them a firm handshake. You don't have to squeeze their hand, but it is important not to have a weak or limp handshake. Many interviewers will tell you that a limp handshake is often seen as a sign of inexperience or lack of confidence, and may even eliminate you from consideration for the job.
One thing that all interviewers hate is when they ask a question and receive one or two word answers. Take the time in an interview to talk about yourself and why you are a great candidate. The more detailed your answers to questions the better the chance that you will connect with your interviewer, and ultimately get a job offer. It's also important to be honest during the interview. Don't exaggerate your achievements. Most companies conduct background screenings and if you are caught in a lie you'll likely lose the job offer.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Write a thank you card within 24 hours of the interview
When you are done with your interview make sure you get a business card from your interviewer. The day after your interview send a brief thank you card or email to the interviewer to thank them for their time.
After your interview you are going to be impatient and hope to hear something quickly. Please realize that even after a great interview it takes most companies a few days to make a final decision and to conduct a background check. If you haven't heard anything after a week it's okay to check on the status of the search with your interviewer, but don't contact them too often.