It’s true that the interview is one of the most important aspects of any job search. It’s also true that the interview is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the job search.

That’s why we’re going to address the interview in this blog in a comprehensive fashion, starting with this post.  In order for you to maximize the opportunity that any face-to-face interview offers, you have to thoroughly understand everything that you can about it—from the “big picture” perspective to the small details that can often make a huge difference.

As with any journey, we’re going to start at the beginning.  This beginning involves perhaps the most important thing that you should know about your interview.  If you don’t remember anything else about the interview process, remember this:

The objective of the interview is to get an offer of employment. Know this About Your Interview!

Everything rolls downhill in that direction.  And why is that?  Because getting an offer of employment opens up your options.  It puts you in the driver’s seat, so to speak.

  • You can accept the offer.
  • You can decline the offer.
  • You can negotiate the offer.

Remember, just because an offer is extended to you doesn’t mean you have to accept it—or accept it in its current form.  You have time after the interview is over to decide whether this company, this position, or this offer is right for you.

With that in mind, DO NOT make a decision in your mind about a possible offer during the interview.  After all, you can’t accept nor decline an offer that you haven’t even received yet.  Unfortunately, some people are tempted to make this mental leap.  Don’t fall prey to that temptation.

Besides, such a thought process during the interview can lead to uncertainty, in both manners and words, and such uncertainty will be noticed.  As a general rule, uncertainty during the interview process produces bad results.

So—the objective of the interview is to secure an offer.  Know that, above all else . . . and now our journey can truly begin.

(For more information about successfully preparing for YOUR next interview, download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Put Your Best You Forward: Simple Steps to a Successful Interview.)