In this economy, it is a feat just to get any job interview. But once you're there, you still need to show your potential employer you've got what it takes to make a difference in the company. You can do this by nailing every aspect of the process.
According to Lifehacker, the first part of acing your interview - and the most obvious - is to get it in the first place. This entails spending time one your resume and cover letter and taking the necessary steps to get it under the nose of an HR professional.
But once you do this, you've got a long road ahead of you full of preparation, research and rehearsals. Software developer Alan Skorkin recently wrote that the number one reason job seekers are either terrified of an interview or feel they conduct the process poorly is a lack of preparation.
"Good communication skills will see you through, right? Unfortunately they don't. Sure, you might be able to stave off total disaster, but without preparation and practice, you're mostly relying on luck," he wrote. "Things 'click'; you get asked the 'right' questions and are able to think of decent answers just in time. This is how most people get hired."
It is important to remember that your interview doesn't begin once you sit down and start chatting, but rather, the second you enter the office. The first impression you have on a potential employer will likely stick with them throughout the process. To make a strong first impression, start with the basics - arriving on time, dressing for the part and looking well-groomed and having full control over your body language.
If you're not enthused about the interview, or are wishing you were someplace else, an employer will know. So appearing eager and ready to take on whatever is thrown at you will also go a long way to help build up your first impression.
The ability to succinctly and articulately answer questions will be a huge plus for you. Make sure to research what some of the toughest questions could be, and have answers to the staple inquiries. These include "what is your biggest weakness," "have you ever been fired," "tell me about a challenge you faced with a coworker" or even the general "tell me about yourself."
Be sure to bounce a few questions off the interviewer, as well, which will further demonstrate your interest in the company.