It's often not the best qualified candidate that gets the job, but rather the person who interviews the best. Follow these simple rules to improve your candidacy.
Preparation. Do your homework on the company. Find out about their products, customers, competition, financial highlights, etc. Be prepared to explain why these things are what you're looking for in a career. Do your homework on the person you are interviewing with. Find out how long they have been there, what positions they have held and where they worked prior to their current company.
Prepare some questions based on your research to uncover important aspects of the job.
Bring clean copies of your resume to the interview along with any documentation you have to support your performance (Awards, performance appraisals, rankings, letters of recommendation, etc.). We call this your "Brag Book".
Be honest and be yourself. It's all about finding the "best fit" for you and the company.
Arrive early, dressed in a suit (pressed with shoes shined).
Get the interviewer's business card at the beginning of the meeting. This way you will not forget it on your way out and you will have someplace to send your follow-up / thank you email. Be sure to send it the same day you interviewed or at least within 24 hours of interviewing.
Build rapport from the start. Managers hire people like themselves. They must like you personally, before they will hire you. Genuine enthusiasm and positive attitude are things that cannot be taught.
Uncover the needs of the manager. Ask questions that will help you understand what the manager is looking to hire. Example: "What are the three most important skills necessary for success in this position?"
Present your experience and achievements as they relate to what you now know the manager needs for the position. Be specific about what you've done and how you got there. Explain your thought process with respect to the career decisions you've made in the past and why you're looking for something new.
If you like what you hear, tell the manager why. Summarize why you think the position is right for you and why you should be the person they hire. Ask for their commitment to take you to the next step in the process, and if it is a final interview...ASK FOR THE JOB!!