At the beginning of the hiring process, the interviewer will think about the open position and construct a profile of the ideal candidate for that job. The closer you come to that profile, the greater your chances are of getting the job.
The best way to discover what the employer is looking for is to ask the interviewer, “Can you describe for me the ideal candidate for this position?” If you don’t have the luxury of asking this question, or if the interviewer hasn’t thought about an ideal candidate, you’ll have to figure the answer out for yourself. The published want ad, or if you can obtain it, the company’s job description, will usually describe the knowledge, skills, traits and experience necessary for the job. If you know someone who works at the company, ask them what it’s like to work there. “What traits are rewarded or discouraged by the company.”