Since no two interviews are alike it is difficult to be prepared for the unexpected. You can however focus on your presentation skills which may be even more important than what you have to say.
Here are three areas that you should consider dangerous and deadly. It would be a good idea to get some feedback about your performance before you go to your next interview.
1. Poor non-verbal communication image
It's about demonstrating confidence -
* You should stand straight, and make good eye contact.
* Always connect with a good, firm handshake. Not a limp-fish handshake or a bone crusher, but an enthusiastic shake.
* Try to sit erect, learning forward to appear interested and attentive..
2. Poor verbal communication skills
Your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly.
* Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what they said.
* Observe your interviewer's style and pace, then match that style.
* Use appropriate language. Beware of using slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual preferences -- these topics could get the door slammed very quickly.
* Telling the interviewer more than they need to know could be a fatal mistake. Too much information could get into areas that are best not discussed in an interview.
3. Not asking questions
It is extremely important to ask questions.
* When asked, "Do you have any questions?" if your answer is "No," it is the WRONG answer!
* Asking questions gives you the opportunity to show your interest. The best questions come from listening to what is said during the interview.
* Asking questions gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you.
The job market is very competitive and the competition is fierce. Give yourself every advantage by preparing and practicing before the interview. Being aware of your verbal and non-verbal performance and the messages you are sending could make the difference between getting a job offer or not.
Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach," has sold thousands of copies world-wide. "Boost Your Interview IQ" has been awarded one of the 10 best career books for 2004. Her most recent book, "Perfect Phrases for the Perfect Interview" and the others mentioned are all available at www.interviewfitnesstraining.com and www.interviewcoach.com Sign up for her free 9-week Interviewing E-Course.