Of course, your qualifications, experience and personal genius should be enough to get you hired. But many times, what makes the difference is your actual job interview and the relationship you form with your job interviewer. You want to come across as not only professional, savvy and smart, but also as warm, friendly, engaging and someone that your job interviewer will want to be around for 40 hours every week. Here’s how to make yourself extra likable on a job interview—which may be all the edge you need to nab the position over some other high-qualified jerk.
Do your research before you walk in.
This sounds so basic, and it is, which makes it even more baffling that so many people don’t bother to do this. Even if it’s just some heavy reading of the company website on the train ride over to the office, do some homework on the company. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard of people showing up to an interview or meeting completely blind to not only what they were applying for, but also for the company as a whole. If you can’t even be interested in Googling a company before showing up to interview there, how can you really be interested in improving their work?
Be observant and use it to your advantage.
See a picture of your potential employer’s puppy? A drawing by her kid? Her New York Giants scarf hanging on her chair? Compliment and ask questions about them. She’ll almost automatically feel at ease with you and associate you with warm, fuzzy feelings, because you’re treating her like a person, not some evil corporate robot completely in charge of your fate.
Don’t try too hard—and don’t talk too much.
Obviously, if you’re sitting there like Kristen Stewart in Speak, that’s a problem. But if you’re rambling nonstop, that’s not good, either. Offer a firm handshake (seriously, this is a biggie) and clever, well-thought responses to their questions (that’s where the whole “doing your homework” comes in) and ask any questions you may have, but ultimately, let them lead. Most job interviewers can tell when you’re faking it, so don’t bother.