For every great job there is always a face-to-face interview. Interviews can be nerve wrecking because of the unknown, which is perfectly normal. However, it is crucial that you give such opportunity your best in order to land that dream job because you only get one shot. I will give a few tricks I have used to impress interviewers.
Do Your Research: Needless to say you must do your research on the company of interest. What I have found to be very helpful is talking to someone who has already gone through a similar interview. I have used wiki jobs to search for potential questions to prepare accordingly and written a list of core competencies listed on the company's website. I then matched each competency with a situation where I have excelled. The better you prepare the less nervous you will be.
Know Your Interviewer: If the name of the interviewer is given to you, you can do some research on the interviewer. LinkedIn is good place to start because it has details of the professional career of the interviewer and it notifies the interviewer that you have looked at their profile. A proactive interviewer might then be interested in you and glance through your LinkedIn account (make sure your LinkedIn account is suitable, this may give you brownie points). Having some background on the interviewer makes the interview more interesting. I was once in an interview where I researched the interviewer. The funniest thing happened, I bumped into the interviewer in the shopping centre near the office 1 hour before my interview. I knew what kind of clients he had and his personal hobbies, so in the interview I could say something like "Oh John, I realised you worked on client XYZ that sounds interesting to me how was it for you". This will impress the interviewer because you went that extra mile. If you share similar hobbies that is even better. Use it as a tool to build the relationship during the interview. You are more likely to get the job if the interviewer feels s/he can relate with you.
The Gatekeepers: The gatekeepers are the people who we usually take for granted, people like security guards, cleaners and reception staff etc. It is very important you are polite to the gatekeepers on arrival to your interview. Especially receptionists because it is the right thing to do and interviewers tend get the opinion of you from gatekeepers (this could be the influencing factor to land that job or called back for the next interview). You could engage with the receptionist by starting off with "Wow, this is a really nice office how long have you guys been here?" Then you can follow on with "How long have you been working here?" This will show off some of the skills that employers seek for such as interpersonal and communication skills. dont forget the secretary.
The Small Things Matter: The more effort you put into the interview, the better you sell yourself. It is very easy to tell the interviewer that you are proactive or you have effective organisation skills or you have sound commercial awareness of the industry. Why not show them during the interview. I hear you ask, how can this be done? I once got to my interview early, at the office reception I picked up the newspaper on the table. I saw the interviewer approach from the corner of my eye, as he got closer I started nodding my head looking at the newspaper as if to say I was really getting into what I was reading. When the commercial awareness question came up during the interview, the interviewer mentioned I looked like I enjoyed reading the newspaper earlier on. I knew another candidate who brought a copy of his CV and letterhead reference from his past employers in a clear plastic wallet. This was the deciding factor that landed him the next interview, the interviewer saw proof that he was proactive and organised.
Follow Up E-mail: This is something I always do especially when the interviewer gives me a business card. I send an email the following day to say thank you for meeting with me. I also try to personalise it by writing something interesting we discussed in the interview, for example: "Thank you for enlightening me about company XYZ I never knew they did ABC as part of their business." A follow up email shows you're a good listener and you care about your prospects at their company. It will also make the interviewer feel good about you, which is very essential in any career and office. It is also a good way for the interviewer to remember you. In a situation where the interviewer does not give you a business card, a trick to remember is their email address is usually just their first name and last name. Mike Black could be firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Usually the initial email sent to you by the HR personnel should give you clearer direction on the company's email address'.