Starting Off on the Right Foot
Before getting down to the important stuff—like why you would do well with this company—it is likely that the interviewer will engage you in a bit of small talk to get the conversation flowing. Prepare for these questions as well.
Don't mistake, for example, “How was your ride here?” or “Did you have any problem finding us?” for anything other than small talk. The interviewer really is not interested in whether or not you hit any traffic or encountered any accidents on your way to the office. If you anticipate simple questions like these, you can be better prepared to answer them without bogging down the flow of conversation.
All too often, job seekers make the mistake of launching into a huge dialogue about how long it took them to get to the office, how they found a great short cut, and so on. The last thing an interviewer wants—or needs—in response to these initial questions is anything longer than “Great,” “Fine,” or “No problem!” Don't be verbose; it can cause the interviewer to question your suitability to the company immediately.
Also, regardless of how nervous you may be, don't let small-talk questions like these dumbfound you. After all, if you have trouble answering a simple question about the weather, how are you going to help this company come up with a winning marketing strategy?
Upon arriving at the interviewer's office or area of your destination, wait until the interviewer tells you to be seated before sitting, then sit (don't plunk) on the designated chair or sofa. Stick with that chair or sofa even if it proves to be uncomfortable. In fact, you don't want to be too comfortable. You want to keep alert, not doze off!
Be on your best behavior. The traditional rules of etiquette should be observed at all times during a job interview. Don't yawn, chew gum, or fidget. A few more things could be added to this list:
Don't mimic the body language or mannerisms of the interviewer (this can happen when you get nervous).
Don't keep looking at your watch.
Don't be negative.
Don't talk too much.
Don't ask about money, perks, or things that are unrelated to the job or company at hand.
Don't move or touch anything on the interviewer's desk. This office is his “home,” and you wouldn't want a stranger to touch things in your home.
If your interview is going well and you are sure this is a job you want, don't be afraid to say so. Sometimes candidates who seem to be perfect for the job are passed over simply because they never let the interviewer know they wanted it.
Don't let this happen to you. Don't be afraid to be proactive, and don't be bashful. Wrap up your interview by giving some of the reasons you like the company before asking about your prospects. Make it clear that you think this job was made for you and vice versa.