Your interviewer is not actually thinking about you.
I know. You're surprised. He/she is actually thinking about him/herself. "What can and will this person do for me? Will he/she save or cost me money? Can I trust them? Will they stab me in the back? Are they lying to me? Can they actually do the job? Do they have reliable references?" And on and on.
Your job is to convince, that is, persuade the interviewer to look at you as the Answer to the Problem, whatever he/she sees it to be.
Are you the Answer? Let's see...
You have the talent, the skills, experience, and even a great personality. You'd think that would do it, right?
But harken back the WIIFM agenda (What's in it for me?). Can you persuade the interviewer to like you? YES. Like you. He/she wants you to not only have the requisite skills and experience; they must like you. You must fit. Or it's a no go.
Are you convincing?
Maybe Aristotle can help. He broke down a persuasive, convincing presentation into three parts: Ethos, pathos, logos. Let's start with logos.
Logos means logic. If you think being logical--laying out your resume and a list of accomplishments--is the logical step to employment, think again. Important as it may be, it is not the most important of the three parts.
Ethos means credibility. Are you trustworthy? Reliable? Truthful? Your interviewer can usually spot a lie from the get go. Be authentic and don't brag. Answer the questions posed. Ask your own. Always remember it's not about you, really, but them.
Pathos means emotion. Unless the person gets a good feeling about you, it may be over before it starts. How do you help that good feeling happen?
- First, arrive early for the interview.
- Second, always--ALWAYS--remember your interviewer's name.
- Third, remember you are selling yourself. A good salesperson looks the part, acts the part, and is the part.
More than anything else, authenticity will help the interviewer get a good feeling about you. Be real. Be true. Be ready.
Never fake it!
An old joke goes something like this: The most important thing is sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made. Well, maybe, but my advice is to NEVER fake it. If you can't be real, the person will notice.
Ethos, pathos, logos. Credibility, emotion, logic. They all matter. But the most important is pathos.
If they don't feel you, they won't hire you.