A few years ago a colleague and I had a discussion about job interviews that focused on the candidate’s behavior in the interview in a way that I hadn’t thought about before. We talked about the things that interviewers may be looking for—or responding to—without even being aware of it
How good are the candidate’s communication skills?
From the moment you walk in the door, you’re communicating. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Provide enough information to answer the question, but don’t ramble. Use appropriate language and take a moment to organize your thoughts before responding to a question. Speak slowly and clearly: Don’t mumble.
How comfortable is the candidate?
This question has to do with confidence and poise and body language. Shake hands firmly, but not intensely, if (and only if) the interviewer reaches out to shake your hand. Look the interviewer in the eye when you’re listening, and when you’re speaking.
How serious is the candidate about this position/organization?
If you’ve done your homework in preparing for the interview, you should be able to help the interviewer see why you want this job (aside from your need to support yourself) and why you are a good fit.
Does this candidate ask interesting questions?
A job interview is a two-way street, and it’s just as important for you to determine how comfortable you are with the organization as it is for them to decide if you’re a good fit. Having a series of questions that demonstrate your interest in and your knowledge of the organization and the position you’re applying for will help all of you figure this out.
Does this candidate care about this organization?
It’s important to help the interviewer see why you’re the best candidate for the position, and you do that by showing that you understand what is involved and how you can contribute to the organization.