Everything you do to prepare for a job interview is important.
You have to do your research on the company, fine-tune your resume (even rewriting it if necessary), prepare for unexpected questions, prepare to ask questions, make sure your interview clothing is clean, pressed and shined, know where you are going, plan to be 10 to 15 minutes early and, probably most important, know why you are going to the interview. You're going to sell yourself a job — that's why you're going.
Here's a little tip I picked up from an article written by Stephanie Loiacono, CFA, called "Taking the Lead in the Interview Dance."
Loiacono says: "Use the top-three method. Before arriving at your interview, ask yourself this question: What are the top three reasons that I should be hired for this job? Three is a good number; three reasons are easy for a hiring manager to absorb and remember. Choose your three reasons carefully. For example, you might choose something like this: 1) I have a passion for this industry/this company/this specific job; 2) I am self-directed and driven; and 3) I am smart. Whatever your talents and skills, boil them down to the top three reasons that you are right for the job. Practice delivering those reasons in a way that seems natural, not programmed."
Yes, you should be qualified for the job you are interviewing for — at least minimally. But even if you aren't as qualified as other candidates, be better prepared to present and sell your particular personality and skills.
Even in today's bruised economy, you can get hired if you come prepared and sell your positive attitude and your winning personality. Even today, you can get hired when you aren't, technically, the best candidate, but you fit the company's personality and have sold your worth.
Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach.