This shows the interviewer not only that you made the effort to do your research, but also makes sure that you answer and ask questions in an appropriate context.
This all has an impact on the image you need to portray in an interview and the kind of leverage you have. If the company approached you and the labor pool for this job is limited, you have a relatively high degree of power. This company needs to sell you more than you need to sell yourself to them.
If the labor pool is deep and you are one of 100 people applying for the same job with the same background you need to dazzle the interviewer. You need to make sure they remember your name and you highlight all your important skills.
Getting nervous or serious in an interview is definitely something to avoid as you don't want that to be the impression that the interviewer walks away with.
If you're applying at a accounting or financial services company, conservative and a suit is the way to go. If you're applying at a Silicon Valley start-up you'll come off as the up tight conservative type that wont fit in.
Scope out the company ahead of time or ask a friend what the dress code is where you're applying.
Interviews are in many cases a competition and you want to bring every bit of leverage and information you have to that competition. Furthermore, sometimes you can learn things about a company that would lead you to not want to work there. Best to find that out sooner than later before wasting yours and the interviewers time.
Remember, interviewing is just as much about making a connection as it is about being interviewed. No one likes to sit and be talked at for an hour and if you can get your interviewer talking away and chatting a bit they will come away with a far more positive impression of the whole experience.
Think about some of your answers before hand, the last thing you want to do is sit there in an interview and not be able to speak. If you're looking at a managerial role, you're going to be asked about your experience managing people. If you're applying for a leadership role, be ready to discuss examples of leading people to a common objective successfully.
You don't want to be throwing out canned answers, but you don't want to be stumped either.
- Turn off your cell phone! They're taking time for you, you should give them your full attention.
- Avoid strong scents like a aftershave, cologne, and perfumes.
- Always thank them for their time at the end of the interview.
- Don't swear or use slang...seems like a no brainer but it happens.
- Bring an extra copy of your resume and cover letter just in case.