Hiring rarely happens without an interview. Of course, you have to be qualified to get in the door. But once that door is open, here are some tips on how to make a good impression Ė and land the job.

  1. Do your due diligence. Great employers are looking for passion and initiative Ė and a lot of that starts with passion for the mission and product. Research the company as much as you can.
  2. Donít dish about your former employer. This is an interview, not a therapy session in which you seek solace for how your last boss did you wrong. Even if itís a valid complaint and you are baited by the interviewer, don't go there! This is like going on a first date and complaining about your ex the entire time. No one wants to hire someone prone to negativity and gossip. Focus on where you want to go, not where you want to leave.
  3. Be articulate. Like, um, I mean, this is so not like, ya know,  junior high, where like, OMG, you can just like, uh, say whatever! Break the bad habit of using filler words. Practice, record yourself, practice some more.
  4. Make eye contact. Who are you talking to? Is it someone on the floor? Eye contact conveys confidence. Shifting, wandering eyes convey insecurity. If you doubt yourself, others will too.
  5. Use confident body language. You know about the firm handshake, but what about the rest of your body? Don't play with your hair. Donít fidget. Literally, lean in. Don't cross your arms. If you are listening and engaged, tell your face.
  6. Listen to what someone is asking you. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that order. Make sure you understand the intent of the question before you jump into an answer.
  7. Watch your public demeanor. Some recruiters will meet candidates for coffee or lunch to see if they are courteous by nature. If you are in public, this requires that you not only impress your prospective employer with what youíre saying, but also how you conduct yourself. Watch your manners, volume level, and basic common courtesies in a public setting. Bottom line - This is good practice whether you're on an interview or not!  
  8. Interview your employer. The best hires will interview the interviewer. When it comes time to ask questions, prepare ahead and have some good ones. Ask about the core values and culture of the company, the long-term vision and the definition of success in the role.
  9. Be You. Be professional and on point, but let your unique personality and perspective come through. Share how you grew up and why you have the values you have.
  10. Stay on topic. Don't babble! When asked a question, think of answering like you would in a spelling bee. If you need to, ask for the meaning to be sure you understand the intent of the question. Are we talking pair or pare or pear? When youíve finished spelling that word, donít start spelling other words. Give your answer to the question asked as thoroughly as you can. Then stop talking.