Some people tend to forget that when you are interviewing for a job, you are actually making a first impression that will last throughout your relationship with the interviewer. If you come across as a boring, uninterested individual, the people who are interviewing you will think that is the way you will act and perform on the job.
When interviewing, try to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and decide if you would be impressed. Also remember that these people are interviewing you in the hopes of you staying with the organization for a long time.
Conquer your bad habits
In an effort to conquer the bad habits that make you come across as a poor prospect, you need to psych yourself up for the interview. No matter what it takes, you need to be ready to talk with just about anybody about anything and be excited about it.
The first step to being prepared is to ensure that you are rested and ready to tackle any situations or questions. If you are tired or stressed out, you may not portray your best image to the interviewer.
The next step is to dress sharply. Make sure that you dress appropriately for the company where you are interviewing. If you look the part, you are half way there. Next, spend some time and rehearse answers to interview questions that always stump you. My favorites are about strengths and weaknesses. If these are your favorites, spend some time rehearsing how you will answer.
Finally, do some research on the company and prepare some intelligent questions for the interviewer. When an interviewer finishes asking you questions, you want to be ready with questions of your own. This entire preparation routine will allow you to be relaxed and ready throughout the interview.
When you finally get to the interview, always arrive at least 5 to 10 minutes early. This promptness shows an excitement and eagerness to obtain the job as well as timeliness in reporting for assignments. If the interviewer is late, always be understanding and try to empathize with him/her. If an interviewer has a strange request (like let's do this outside), always be accommodating. This will show the interviewer that you are flexible and able to adapt to changing situations.
Throughout the interview process, maintain an open and smiling face as well as an open posture (i.e. no arms crossed on chest, no avoiding eye contact). Always show that you are attentive and excited about the opportunity. Avoid drink offers because you open yourself up to chance spills and mishaps.
Finally, tailor your attitude to fit that of the interviewer. If the senior VP is stuffy with a coat and tie, then always say yes sir and thank you. If the interviewer is laid back, assume a more relaxed posture and try to meet them on their level. If you can read each person that is interviewing you and return to them the same level of courtesy, responsiveness and excitement you are more likely to be asked to return for a second interview.
Follow up professionally
When the interview is finally over, be sure to send thank you notes via email or mail. If you do not have contact info for each person, ask one person to pass your thanks along to others. Whether you feel you got the job or not, remain professional and express a positive, excited attitude about your prospects. If you receive a rejection notice, respond with thanks for their time and let them know that you would still be interested if they change their mind. Maintain a positive attitude.
If you do not hear from them for a while, check the paper or the job board and see if the position is still open. If it is, send your contact a quick, professional note saying that you are still available for the position and would love to come in and speak with someone.
Finally, whether you get the job or not, whether you bomb at the interview or not and whether you never hear from them again or you do, remain professional and excited about getting a new position and let that attitude display in your actions and words.