Job Interviews: Preparation Is The Key

Written by Beth Marlin Lichter
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The date is set and soon you’ll be meeting with your potential new boss. “Winging it” is not an option. That is unless, you really don’t care about getting that job. Consider the following suggestions, as a way of preparing for the meeting. You only get once chance to present yourself as the best candidate.
1. Your resume is a very important tool. It should be concise with no errors, and accomplishment-based. It should demonstrate, by its contents, why you are qualified for the particular job you are interviewing for. Get help if you feel at all uncertain about being able to write your resume on your own. Be sure to include interests, hobbies and goals in Life, as a way of giving your potential employer insight into what you like to do outside of the workplace. This information might spark an interesting conversation.
2. Learn all you can about the company. Do your homework. Check out their website and use any available resources to find out all you can.
3. Prepare answers for typical questions that will probably be asked. Be able to express why you are interested in this job, and why you feel qualified to fill it. If a question throws you off-guard, take your time to formulate the answer. Rushing and stumbling forward into awkward responses will make you seem nervous and unsure of yourself.
4. Practice your interview with a friend. Work on body language, looking relaxed and confident. How can you best display your enthusiasm and maintain composure under pressure? Do you know how to be energetic without it seeming forced?
5. Dress the part. What kind of culture exists in this workplace? If it’s a suit and tie kind of place, you’d better be wearing that to the interview. You want to look like the kind of person who will fit in, in every conceivable way.
6. Be on time. If you are unsure about how long it will take to arrive at the interview site, leave extra early. Being late is inexcusable. Right off the bat, it identifies you as a person who might be irresponsible.
7. First impressions are critical. Look confident even if you’re feeling nervous. Shake hands and look your interviewer in the eye.
8. Send a thank-you email or note to everyone present in the meeting, preferably the next day. Make sure you get their contact information. Asking for business cards is definitely acceptable.

Now go and have yourself a very successful interview! Good luck with the new job.


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