Recently, I’ve been on several interviews and while I have interviewed hundreds of people, I find myself on the other side of the table. Even as a professional recruiter it is important to review and practice my interviewing skills.

Here are 6 things I put into practice for a successful interview:

  1. Know Your Audience

Learn relevant information about the company and industry. I like to know as much as possible about the company and the people I’m interviewing with about the job. I’ll typically lead in with a question like, “You’ve been with the company for 15 years, so can you share more about the culture of the company?” A simple LinkedIn search and review of the company website will give you all of the information you need.

  1. Be Yourself

Yes, you need to dress your best and yes, you want to be on your ‘A’ game, but don’t forget to relax. It’s important for the interviewer to get know you, what you value, and how you fit into the culture of the team. While you may want to impress to get a job, everyone knows why you are there – to get a job. More importantly, you want a job where you really fit and can thrive.

  1. Understand the Needs

Find out what the company needs. This gives you opportunity to share your successes and how you can be of value to help meet their needs. For example, do they need expertise in organizing and planning on projects? Then speak about your project management skills on a successful project.

  1. Review Interviewing Questions

The night before I always review standard interview questions (or what I anticipate will be asked). Whether or not those specific questions are asked it helps to effectively pull together your career story and highlight what’s important. Some standard questions may be, “Are you currently working?” “Tell me about yourself.” “Describe a time when you worked with a difficult person.” “What salary are you looking for?”

  1. Ask Next Steps

Before you leave ask about next steps. Find out if there is opportunity for a next interview or offer. This shows your interest in wanting to continue the conversation and pursue the opportunity.

  1. Follow Up with Thank You

Always, always, always follow up with a thank you note. Sending a simple thank you email to everyone you interviewed with builds rapport and your network grows. Even when I have not received an offer, I’ve connected with the people I’ve interviewed with on LinkedIn. Don’t worry if they don’t answer back. Hiring Manager’s/Recruiters are busy and a thank you note is always nice to receive.