Many people fail to prepare for it, but it's crucial. Here's the deal: Don't give your complete employment or personal history. Instead give a pitch-one that's concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you're the right fit for the job. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.
Hiring managers want to know that you not only have some background on the company, but that you're able to think critically about it and come to the table with new ideas. So, come with new ideas! What new features would you love to see? How could the company increase conversions? How could customer service be improved? You don't need to have the company's four-year strategy figured out, but do share your thoughts, and more importantly, show how your interests and expertise would lend themselves to the job.
Hiring managers want to know that you can do so in a productive, professional way. "You don't want to tell the story about the time when you disagreed but your boss was being a jerk and you just gave in to keep the peace. And you don't want to tell the one where you realized you were wrong," Tell the one where your actions made a positive difference on the outcome of the situation, whether it was a work-related outcome or a more effective and productive working relationship.
If someone asks about your hobbies outside of work, it's totally OK to open up and share what really makes you tick. Do keep it semi-professional, though: Saying you like to have a few beers at the local hot spot on Saturday night is fine. Telling them that Monday is usually a rough day for you because you're always hungover is not.
You'll want to choose an example that showcases your project management skills (spearheading a project from end to end, juggling multiple moving parts) or one that shows your ability to confidently and effectively rally a team. And remember:
The best stories include enough detail to be believable and memorable. Show how you were a leader in this situation and how it represents your overall leadership experience and potential.
Suppose if you get the admittedly much tougher follow-up question as to why you were let go and the truth isn't exactly pretty, your best bet is to be honest the job-seeking world is small, after all. But it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. Share how you've grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. If you can position the learning experience as an advantage for this next job, even better.
Ideally the same things that this position has to offer. Be specific.
Positive manner and let nothing stop you from accomplishing your goals. A great approach is to talk through your go-to stress-reduction tactics making the world's greatest to-do list, stopping to take 10 deep breaths, and then share an example of a stressful situation you navigated with ease.
Be honest remember, if you get this job, the hiring manager will be calling your former bosses and co-workers. Then, try to pull out strengths and traits you haven't discussed in other aspects of the interview, such as your strong work ethic or your willingness to pitch in on other projects when needed.