Job interviews are a high-pressure sales call. The product? You -- or, more specifically, the skills and experience you can bring to a new job.
Do your homework in advance
"Top-performing salespeople learn about the organization and individuals they will be interviewing with," says Volper. In the same way, you'll want to read up about the company you're interviewing with -- its mission, vision and values. Then prepare thoughtful questions about the company's priorities. "The interviewers' answers to your questions will enable you to address how you can help them solve specific problems," says Volper. You'll also want to do some research about your interviewer, he suggests -- learn what you can about his or her background (and any overlap with yours), as well as that person's contributions within the company.
Build rapport with your interviewer
People like to buy stuff from people they like -- and they like to work with people who they get along with, too. "Whether buying a car or hiring a manager, people often make the buying decision based on emotion, so it's important to build rapport," says Volper. "You can do this by greeting them with a smile and a warm handshake, by making appropriate eye contact, by using their name (but not too many times), and by being positive and even animated."
Spell out your value in a clear pitch
Your resume shares your past experience like a sales package does, but your presentation of yourself needs to bring those numbers to life. "People pay attention to and remember war stories, so make yours interesting and relevant -- but keep them brief," says Volper. Share the specific skills that helped you create X, Y or Z successes for your current company -- and then explain what you can do with those same skills for your interviewer's organization.
Send the right thank-you note
Make an impression after the fact with an articulate thank-you note. Not just a cursory "thanks for your time," the note should reiterate specific points and even explain how your skills can solve issues discussed during the interview. "Doing this signals to them that you are a good communicator and are likely to treat both fellow employees and customers with respect," says Volper.
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