This first one has nothing to do with the content of your answers. It has to do with your presentation, and tells me a ton about how it will be to work with you.
As important as what you say is how you stop. When you're answering a question, be preparing your conclusion. Don't tail off into mumbles, or "and I guess that's it" or some other inconsequential termination. Have a definite end point to your answer, wrap up, restate, and stop.
I once asked a gentleman my first question, and he rambled for 21 minutes. After the first 5 minutes I didn't even consider interrupting him, I was jus timing to see how long it would go. As you can imagine, he was not hired.
What's going to make my organization better with you?
I've had candidates tell me what they're going to get out of the job. Sorry, don't care. Well, care a little, but that comes later. Tell me what I'm going to get out of you. I'm going to be investing the company's money in you, what payoff are you going to deliver for that money? Even more importantly, I'm going to be investing time, tell me why you will be the one who integrates the quickest into my organization.
Do you play well with others?
Whenever you're answering a work-task question, let me know how your past experiences supported the team or people you worked with. If you're interviewing, that means you're not going to be working solo, so tell me something about how you work with people. Describe easy people to work with, describe difficult people to work with. "Yes, I had the opportunity to do XXX. One of the people on the team was a bit of a challenge to work with, as I worked on this task I made sure he knew that I was working for our mutual success, and he supported that"
What are we doing wrong?
If you are interviewing for my team/company, you've done your research. And if you've done good research, you have a sense for something we can do better. Let me know what that is, where you think we can do better and how you can help. Don't be critical, be positive. "I love XXX, and look forward to when it can also do YYY, here's how I'd like to help that happen".
How do you learn?
It's extremely unlikely that the job you're interviewing for is exactly like any job you've previously held. That means I need to know how you learn. Do you read up? Do you ask peers? I need to understand your process so I can see if it both integrates with my teams' abilities to provide that learning opportunity, and it also gives me a chance to know how long it might take for you to come up to speed.
Closely tied to;
If it's new, what will you do?
I don't object (usually) to someone reaching outside of their past experience to get a new and different job. In fact, I may want that, fresh perspectives are very useful.
But I need to know why I can take the risk. Describe a leap you've made before. And, most most importantly, tell me why you're changing paths. And it better not be because you don't like or are bored with what you're doing now. I want to know why you're running to this opportunity, not why you're running away for your current one.
Answer the question
Nothing makes me less likely to hire you than when you don't answer the question I asked. If I have to ask again, then you've probably lost the interview.
Ask me what I meant if you don't understand
Instead of making up a bunch of hooey based on what you think I said, if you don't know what the question I just asked is, ask me to repeat it or rephrase it.
Don't try to create the ideal answer I'm looking for
One thing I make clear, and it's true for most people, the soft questions don't have a right answer, so don't search for one. When I ask you "How do you think you'll measure your job satisfaction in this role?" I have no clue how you'll answer, and there is certainly not a right answer. What I want is your heartfelt answer.
Have a question
I always ask candidates if they have any questions for me about the company. Have one. Unless you've worked there yourself for decades you must have something you're interested in knowing about the work, the culture, the tasks. Have one.
But do not make your question "Do you think I'm suitable for this job?" or "What attributes do you look for in candidates" or the like. Immediately sends hackles up, I want your real self (or what you portray at work), this sounds like you want to tailor to what I want, and that's manipulative.
Look me up on-line. But don't go nuts.
Our organization provides interviewers names to candidates ahead of time. If that happens with you, or if you get the list on-site and have some time, look me up. If you don't I will be less convinced you have the drive to undertake a task.
Then let me know somehow. But be subtle, don't gush. Let me know you picked something up from LinkedIn, or even a mention of someplace I've shared on Facebook "You went to Tanzania? I've been... " or "I look forward to going someday" and dropping it is enough.
Don't look at the clock over my left shoulder
A vendor sent me a cheap clock years ago, the batteries have been dead for a long time. So the time does not change. I have watched a few interviewees getting more and more uncomfortable, eyes darting to the clock, wondering why time appears to have stopped.
Funny, but there's a point. Don't get distracted by clutter. Don't get distracted if the interviewer writes something down, it may have nothing to do with what you've said. Basically, don't distract yourself by interpreting anything in the interview environment to mean something about your performance. Just focus on questions and answers.
C.K. Haun, 2015