1. Do your research.
Do everything you can to learn about the company before going into the interview. Scour their website, do a few Google searches, and check out their social-media sites (while you’re at it, clean up your own, because they’ll be looking). Know some facts and current news about the industry/position you’re applying for. It will impress the interviewer.
2. Look the part.
Always dress on the conservative side, although your style may change based on the position and company for which you’re interviewing. Know the culture of the place that you are interviewing for and try to dress appropriately.
For business positions, a suit is always a safe bet. For more creative fields, you can never go wrong with a pencil skirt and tucked-in top. Show your personality with accessories or a colored bag.
3. Pick three things you want to say about yourself during the interview—and say them!
Put on your salesperson hat and decide in advance what three skills or examples you want to get across during your interview and actually articulate them. It’s easy to get caught up in the conversation and forget to mention that you have in fact had experience managing large groups, or that you spearheaded that project that increased revenue by 20 percent. Remind yourself of your three things before the interview and make sure you get them in during the time.
4. Always answer questions positively.
Turn a negative into a positive about what you have done. For example, if someone asks if you can create budgets and you can’t, that’s OK, but don’t frame it that way. Say that while you haven’t created a budget from scratch, you are excellent at managing projects that come in at or below budget. Then proceed to give a real-life example.
5. Demonstrate that you can do the things listed on the job description.
Carefully reread the job description before the interview, and provide specific examples of how you meet the criteria. If a requirement is the ability to write a press release, talk about ones you have written before; better yet, bring one with you to the interview.
6. Say you want the job.
It seems obvious, but this shows a great attitude and an actual interest in the position. Just because you show up to the interview doesn’t mean the interviewer knows how much you actually want the job. It never hurts to give an extra reminder.
7. Ask questions.
Think of a few questions you’d like to ask the hiring manager about the position, and write them down so you’ll remember them at the end of the interview. Make your questions worthwhile.
8. Send a Thank You.
Get the business cards of whomever you interviewed with and be sure to follow up with a quick thank-you email, four to five sentences, immediately after you leave the office. A thank you note will go a long way and show the interviewer that you are interested. This not only demonstrates great manners, but it’s also another opportunity to show off your writing skills.