1. Know everything you can about the company before you show up.
Know their products and their ambitions and their competitors. Understand their values and culture. Don’t parrot it back to them – they know it already – but use this background to show that you understand what they are going for and how they do it – and to show that that is just what you want to be a part of.
2. Want to be there – and show it.
Be excited about what you can do for them. Be genuinely curious about where they are headed. Have a couple of smart questions lined up to learn more about their goals and about what they hope you will bring them. Make sure they are questions you should not already know the answers to.
3. Don’t talk about yourself – talk about your work.
Don’t tell them that you are a good leader or that you are an innovative thinker. Portray your qualities in action by talking about specific projects, things you are working on now, things that turn you on. Select the stories that will illustrate those qualities they are looking for. Tell them in a lively and vivid way. Don’t get into the weeds of process unless it’s really relevant. Tell of the outcomes of the work. Your passion and the specific things you choose to talk about should clearly show your value.
The image is of course Will Ferrell in Step Brothers.