Assuming that you get to the interview, you've passed a minimum
requirements test. You at least qualify for the position because of your
background or technical skills. That means that the primary thing that
the potential employer is looking for is how you present yourself.
Confidence is key. Looking people in the eye when you talk to them.
Being able to answer questions. Don't necessarily be cocky, but be
self-assured. If you are weak in this area, it would be really good to
get some training like a Dale Carnegie course, or my favorite: improv.
You are allowed to talk about yourself, and you should talk about what
you did, rather than what the company did. When you're talking
about a project, I'm interested in your contribution to the
project. If you can identify specific contributions that you made or
specific improvements that you initiated, it's much better.
Don't rely on PowerPoint. If you are using it to make a presentation,
use it as a support and illustration tool, but be prepared to make a
presentation with just a whiteboard or completely verbally. Don't use a
laser pointer, it's distracting.
Turn your cell phone off. If you forget and it rings, don't answer it;
apologize and shut it off.
If somebody asks you a question, answer it. If you don't know the
answer, say so. If you are unclear about the question, ask for
clarification. Don't answer a different question.
Don't rely on buzzwords. Think outside the box and develop a new
paradigm. (Hint: read Dilbert. If they make fun of terminology, don't
Sometimes you will be asked difficult questions. I do this because I
want to see how you respond to the difficulty, not necessarily because I
want the answer. There may not actually be an answer, or there may not
be just one, or the answer may be totally subjective.
Don't be late. Duh. Be early by 15 minutes or less.
Ask questions. You will get the chance, and having some knowledgeable
questions (like maybe do some preliminary research) is impressive. There
is a two-way part to the interaction.