Make your impression within five minutes
According to a recent Harvard Study, in this 2015 landscape, you only have five minutes to make your first impression. Whether you choose to offer a genuine smile, joke around, or go for the firm posture, doing so late in the interview won’t do you any good. You’ve got to own the first impression within that first five for it have any impact in the hiring decision.
Do not overdress
There is some truth to “dress for the job you want,” but hiring managers don’t advise going overboard (unless you love monocles and somehow have an in for being the next Monopoly guy). During your phone interview, ask the recruiter what the dress code is like at the office. While you do want to dress better than the average person at the company, wearing a three-piece suit at a t-shirt-and-jeans workplace (which are really common nowadays) shows that you are painfully unaware of the company culture you’re vying for.
Be. Your. Self.
Several of the hiring managers we spoke to, including two high-level guys in Silicon Valley, let us in on the secret that not only is “social fit” a factor in their hiring decision, it could ultimately discount an otherwise perfect hire. Some companies even mix in culture-only interviews to get a sense for your personality. So, while just acting normal (read: not turning into a stressed out, overthinking mess) was always good advice when answering high-pressure interview questions, in 2015, it is now a legitimate factor in many companies’ decisions to even consider you as a viable candidate.
Get real comfortable with the question “why”?
Listing the jobs you’ve held or even the projects you’ve completed on a resume or website isn’t all that hiring managers are looking for. In today's job search, they want to know why you did the work you did for the companies, and why it was a success. Try listing the objective for each role/project on your application, and then explain exactly how you achieved said objective (were you trying to hit a click-through percentage of 2%? Were you trying to get high-profile media coverage of your company’s new branding launch? Say so.).