Problem #1 – You don’t dress to fit the company you’re interviewing with. You can tell what kind of “look” they like by driving by the company at the beginning or end of the day some time before your interview. You should dress in a way that’s comfortable for you and comfortable for the team you want to join. One young Veteran chose a young professional look from Gentleman’s Quarterly that was comfortable for a transition from a military uniform to civilian clothing. It wasn’t the look that most software developers choose but it was as casual as he could comfortably go. His qualifications and personality carried him through the interview and into the job
Problem #2 -You don’t pick up on “buying signals.” The questions the interviewer asks need your focus. If you veer off from what the interviewer showed interest in, you’ve lost an opportunity to make the sale. You’re just another product on the market. There are other products that will fit the position. Your resume is a marketing piece that gets you the interview. The interview is your opportunity to make the sale. You might not think of yourself as a sales person but we all are, especially in an interview. Listening well and being prepared with clear, concise answers to the most obvious questions are key to selling yourself.
Problem #3 – There was no job to begin with. What? No job? It’s true. Some companies have found an excellent way to get help from experts without paying for it. Pay attention to the kinds of questions the interviewer is asking, especially those that sound something like, “If you were faced with this problem, what would you do?” You want to answer and you want to give evidence of your value in a situation like the one the interviewer poses. You don’t want to give a complete answer. What you want to do is give an answer that is like an “appetizer” – not like a whole meal. Give enough to show your value but not enough to eliminate any need to hire you.
Conclusion: Landing a job you really want takes clear, concise communication of your value in how you look and how effectively you listen without giving away the store.