Interviewing for a Job

I've done a fair amount of interviewing from the hiring side, and what I've noticed is that most people simply don't understand the concept of how to really respond to questions in an interview. Now, to be completely upfront, all of my interviews are over the phone, and thus rely almost entirely on the verbal communication that goes on within the interview. I also hate "formal" interviews, and so none of my interviews are very formal.

Understand why you're being interviewed

You're being interviewed because the company you applied to wants to know if you're the "right fit" for the job. Most likely you put something on your resume that triggered a keyword or just generally said something in an email, cover-letter, or resume that triggered word recognition (not always automatic, this is also how most hiring managers work). This doesn't mean that we've actually read your resume, it probably just means we've skimmed it.

Do your research before the interview

Make sure you research the company and workspace that the company you're working for is in. Googling for the company's name should turn something up, and you should be able to find a bit of information about what exactly the company does before the interview. This is important for both you and the company, to make sure that you're not wasting each other's time. It's ok to ask questions like "so what exactly do you do?", but it's generally a good idea to have researched the general field that the company is in. If you're applying to a company like mine, you don't want to go in thinking that you'll end up in an office writing games for the 360.
If I'm really interested in hiring someone, before the interview, I'll check to see if they have a twitter account, facebook, G+, or just generally type their name into google and see what comes up. It's a good idea to do this about your interviewer too. For example, if I was interviewing you, you could have come up with this guide and then know exactly how to nail the interview with me!

Communication is Key

If you want to move on from the first interview (which, for me, usually means we bring you on part-time on a trial basis), you need to be able to communicate well in the interview. It's really a test of how well you interact with the interviewer more then it is about the knowledge you have. Try not to ramble on too much, and whatever you do don't ever make up an answer. It's perfectly acceptable to say "I'm sorry, but I really don't know the answer to that". If you lie about something you know or are comfortable doing, it will only turn around to bite you later on in the job. Expectations are set on the day you interview, so don't make them something you won't be able to live up to if you do get the job.

Be excited, but not cocky

It's important to show enthusiasm for the work you're about to perform. Nobody wants someone that's just willing to be a drone, they want someone who's actually going to work because it's something they like to do. If you answer with just one-word answers, you're probably not going to get the job. I personally look for people that can ramble on about what they've done and how much they like doing it, but that doesn't mean you should ramble on too long. It's a good thing to have a job you absolutely love doing.
However, this doesn't mean you should be cocky, or simply tout how good you are because of what you've done. Yes, be proud, but don't think you're better then the interviewer. You don't want to be stuck-up, or sound like you're belittling the interviewer because he/she doesn't know something that you do. Never say "Well, it was on my resume", don't assume that your time is worth more, or even as much as, the interviewers time. It's generally a good idea to end the interview by saying "thanks for taking the time to interview me".

Don't be discouraged if you don't get the job

Just because the interviewer doesn't give you the job doesn't mean you're not capable of doing the job, it just means you're not the right fit for the position, or perhaps just the company. When I interview people, I'm not just looking for someone who has the knowledge or ability to do the work, I'm looking for someone who will be able to fit within the work environment we have. We're a completely virtual company, and it takes a special breed of person to be able to handle that. Don't take it personally