Despite the etiquette, formality, and inevitable fear factor, job interviews can actually be enjoyable as well as extremely informative. In an interview, where you and the prospective employer begin a mutual relationship based on observation and communication, you have just as much power as the interviewer. So forget the high stakes and have fun.
The focus for both sides should be on the immediate benefits you can add to and get from the company. Use examples; emphasize thought processes rather than results; and turn negatives into positives.
Research, research, research
Be ready to rattle off your achievements and how your current projects fit in with the goals of the prospective employer. Research industry trends and know where the company excels and where it might need your talents. Use media, reference books and sites, and your contacts in the industry.
Do enough research to speak authoritatively during the interview. Look at the company's recent stock price if it is publicly traded. Find out its values through the mission statement and the recent comings and goings of its executives. Keep current on relevant news and check for late-breaking events that could affect the business.
Interviews come in various guises.
It's all in the package you present
Interviewers will probably ply you with questions about your education, experience, skills, and long-term career goals as they look for the following.
Every question counts
Interviewers might pose behavioral questions to get an idea of how you might act in the office. Certain banking, finance, and consulting employers use case questions to test your analytical skills. Hypothetical questions offer a picture of how you might handle a situation you have yet to encounter. You may face these types of questions if you are interviewing for a job in a new industry or for one with more responsibilities.
Don't fall for tricks
In stress tests, the interviewer fires a barrage of questions or problems at the candidate in stressful surroundings. These cases are less about what you do or say than about how you respond. Emphasize the process, not the result. If you feel a question is extraordinarily strange, ask for elaboration.
Your turn to do the grilling
Respond to the interview questions with articulate, focused answers but make sure to get some answers for yourself.
What happens next? The interviewer will contact you about the job if the company is interested. Ask how long you can expect to wait. Contact the interviewer in the interim if you have questions or for additional materials or references. But the decision will depend mostly on your interview. Do your best to leave a great impression.