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Job Interview - Tips to Ensure a Successful Interview Process
After sending a resume to a prospective employer, you may be called for your first of probably two or three interviews. The initial interview is critical because that is when the employer will likely decide whether to hire you and how you might fit with the company. This step is crucial, and you need to be prepared to enhance your likelihood of a successful interview and eventual job offer.
Before you even step one foot in the door of your prospective employer, you should completely research the company, its background, corporate goals, top executives, and anything pertinent to the position to which you have applied.
Additionally, knowing the background of the company and what you are going to be doing for that company will help you prepare for questions that will be asked of you. It would be time well spent to practice answering test questions with a friend or family member so you are able to provide confident, knowledgeable answers during the interview that make a positive impression.
When you show up on the day of the interview, it is best to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to the planned starting time. An early arrival shows you are punctual and that the job interview is important to you. You should be prepared with a couple extra copies of your resume in case additional people sit in on the interview, and you should always carry copies of any documents that they may require, such as certifications or school records.
Make sure your attire and general appearance reflects the standards of the company. It is best to show up in business appropriate clothing that is clean, ironed, and sharp looking. You do not want to be wearing excessive makeup or jewelry; and for a man, you should be clean shaven and neat.
If, for example, this is a "suite and tie" company and you come to the interview in jeans, you might as well cancel the interview altogether. By looking professional, you show you are ready to blend in with their business needs. Maverick thinking may help you land a great position, but a maverick appearance will not!
On meeting the people who will be interviewing you, it is best to smile at them directly, greet each with a firm handshake, and offer an enthusiastic hello. The more upbeat you are - without appearing contrived - the more apt they are to be drawn to you.
Always maintain good eye contact with the person who is interviewing you during the meeting. You do not want to appear intimidating, however, so occasionally look away when they are speaking with you. Conversely, you do not want to keep looking up or down because they could mistake this for dishonesty or disinterest. (You may be surprised by what is surmised from a person's body language.)
Lastly, when the interview has concluded, make sure to shake each person's hand again and thank them for their time. State how interested you are in the job and that you look forward to hearing from them. A brief follow up thank you letter to each person for their time and interest in you will not hurt your chances either.
Though following these tips certainly does not ensure you will be hired, they do help to maximize the positive impression you make on hiring decision-makers!
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