Jerk off before you go.[/quote]
For posts like this, DB, I love you. Literally lolling.
Seriously now, as an employer, the best possible thing you can do is to KNOW EVERYTHING about the company you are trying to work for, CARE ABOUT that company and DEMONSTRATE THIS by first talking about the company, and ONLY afterward talking about yourself and how you possess a particular skill set and the burning desire to apply that skill set to helping that company better realize its mission.
DO NOT talk about your prior experience unless it involves a very specific, uncommon talent or ability that very few others possess. For the most part, you are often competing with a lot of other people with better skills or more experience than you. Thing is, people usually ARE NOT hired for their skills, but for how well they sell themselves. I have literally turned down someone with a law degree in favor of someone (discussed below) who had hardly any experience but turned out to be my ideal hire.
Law degree guy looked amazing based upon experience and ability alone (he was practicing Japanese law, IN Japan, as an American 10 years younger than I am). But I could tell, as “good” as he might have been, he was not going to be good for our school because the entire vibe was me me me.
Ultimately, I made the best hire of my life; a one in a million employee whom I hope will one day be my partner. He beat out literally 50 other candidates including law degree guy because he spent his entire cover letter (a full A4 page) and then interview talking about MY company and how he was impressed with our philosophy and what we were doing for our community.
If you really care, and can demonstrate this, and you are not just blowing smoke up their ass about it, you’ll exponentially increase your chances of getting hired.