In today���s economy, you should be proud of yourself simply for landing job interviews. However, if you have gone on countless interviews in the past few months and not received an offer, here are a few things you should do to ensure that you come across as well in the interview as you do on your resume.
Research the companyYou should know as much as you can about the company. You need to know what they do. Otherwise, the next candidate���who will know all about the company���will get the job offer. If the company produces a product, you should know that product inside and out. For instance, if you are trying to land a magazine job, read the most recent issue thoroughly. If you are trying to land a position with a sports franchise, research the team���s history and current superstars. If the employer is torn between you and someone who is just as qualified and has additional passion for their enterprise, they will go with the passion.
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Dress professionallyThis should go without saying. We all know that you can���t accurately judge someone based on appearances. But for employers, appearances are largely what they have to go on. Dress the part that you feel you deserve. For men, this often means a solid suit, an ironed shirt, shined shoes, a conservative tie and combed hair. For women, this means a blouse, a pantsuit or professional skirt, limited jewelry and neat hair. These are vague outlines since work climates can differ drastically from office to office. As a general rule, it���s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Think of your past professional accomplishmentsMany interviewers think past performance is one of the best ways to gage future performance. Therefore, you should come prepared to explain your past accomplishments. Make a list of times at your previous jobs where you encountered large problems and thought of not merely a solution but a way to turn the negative into a positive. Think of times where you made opportunities for your organization out of dilemmas. When the employer asks a question along these lines, you will be prepared.
Have a friend ask you simple questionsHave a friend or family member conduct a mock interview. This person doesn���t need to be an expert in your field. Have your friend ask you simple questions that could apply to most lines of work. One such question could be: ���Why do you want to work here?��� Sometimes we overanalyze the minutiae of complex issues and then mess up simple questions. You might be surprised how many times a candidate can answer intricate questions about an industry but cannot answer general and basic questions. Other common questions that you might have your friend pose to you are: ���What is your greatest weakness?��� and ���Tell us about yourself?��� Come up with good answers to these simple questions.
Body languageMind your body language. You don���t want to seem nervous but you also don���t want to seem arrogant. You should project confidence in your abilities. Sit up straight, make eye contact and speak clearly. Do not fidget with your fingers, play with your hair or act as if you are lounging poolside.
Prepare questions for the interviewerAt the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. You should have at least three questions prepared. You don���t need to ask all of them but you should have them at your disposal. The hiring process can be complicated and if you have no questions it usually doesn���t mean that you fully understand everything���it probably means that you haven���t thought ahead and will think of a question later when you confront a problem head on. Make sure your questions don���t have obvious answers or answers that the hiring manager already explained earlier in the interview.
Bring a list of references and extra resumesSometimes before an interview, you will need to fill out a form with references. You don���t want to wade through old emails on your phone or search through the mess in your briefcase or bag for names and phone numbers. Make a list that looks as nice and professional as your resume. This way you will have it on hand and if they want a reference list, you might be able to simply hand it to them. You should also bring extra copies of your resume in case the hiring manager wants others in the company to review your credentials. If you can make any step in the hiring process easier, they will remember you for your preparedness and professionalism.
Mind your mannersA job interview is certainly the place to demonstrate that your parents raised you to be a respectable and polite member of society. Turn your cellphone off or put it on vibrate. Some hiring managers are addicted to their phones, too, but far more would find it difficult to forgive such a politeness faux pas. Maintain your good behavior after the interview by sending a thank-you email. You don���t want to wait long before sending this note. It is common practice, and if you don���t send one you will come across as rude.