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Nailing the Job Interview 32

The job interview . . . for some it’s their worst nightmare, but for others it’s a simple step on the road to their successful career. What makes the difference? In a word – preparation; there’s a lot you can do to prepare for a job interview, and those who take the time will certainly benefit. The following suggestions will help you get you started:

Dress for Success

The age old question – do you dress to the nines or do your dress for the job? The answer is a combination of both. Job seekers should always appear at the first interview looking clean cut and well dressed. This shows you respect the importance of the situation, and care enough to make an effort. There are however, several types of dress clothes and some are more appropriate than others.

Let’s say you’re applying for an upper management job where you’ll be expected to wear a suit and tie every day. This type of interview calls for your best business attire – roll out the Armani if you’ve got it. If on the other hand you’re applying for a more casual position, wear a sports jacket, tie and dress slacks. For blue collar work, a dress shirt, tie, and khakis should do. Women have it easier as in most interviews a modest dress or attractive pant suit fits the bill. Popular opinion has it that you should dress one level above the position you’re applying for.

Know the Brand

Now is the time to discover everything you can about the company you wish to join. The advent of the internet has made this infinitely easier than it used to be, as most companies now have detailed websites.

First, go over the available information with a fine tooth comb. Familiarize yourself with what the company does and what you’d be expected to do for them. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to know someone who is already employed there, talk to them and get the inside scoop.

This is also the time to get your stuff together. By that we mean a print copy of your resume and any paperwork that might back up your claims of being the perfect person for this job. It’s also helpful to get the name the person who will be conducting your interview

Say the Word

Like it or not, the words that come out of your mouth can make or break you. This is the most important part of the interview and thankfully you can practice beforehand. It’s a good idea to download the “most frequently asked job interview questions” and have a friend do a trial run with you. Your interview may cover completely different questions, but practicing out loud will help you learn to think on your feet and ultimately, be able to relax when real interview begins.

While the words that come out of your mouth are key, equally important is your unspoken communication. Body language says a lot about you:

• Appear confident but not arrogant.
• Look the interviewer in the eye, but don’t stare.
• Sit up straight, but lean forward in your chair – just a little – and you’ll appear eager, alert and ready to go to work.
• When considering the answer to a question, try to look inward or glance thoughtfully at your clasped hands. Rolling your eyes heavenward makes it appear you’re pulling answers out of the air.
• Be approachable, yet respectful. Overly familiar applicants don’t get the job.
• Enter and leave with a firm handshake and a smile.

These are simple steps, but putting them into practice will help you land the job of your dreams.

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