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Job Interviewing 101

Tips to make your interview go smoothly

In many ways, a job interview is an audition. As much as you can, you demonstrate how you might perform in a job; answer questions that show your professionalism, and try to develop a rapport with interviewers so they call you back. And like auditions, interviews can be a bit stressful — you're looking for a job, after all, and it's your skills and qualifications that are up for discussion. To help you manage stress and do well during the interview, here are a few suggestions.

Before the interview

  • Rehearse. Sit down in full interview clothes and have a friend interview you on your resume. You can have the person read a set of common interview questions, which you answer.
  • Have answers ready to common questions. Interviewers often rely on a set of questions on the skills most jobs require. Prepare answers to these questions ahead.
  • Research information on the company and the job. Visit the company's website and search for articles and press releases written about or by the organization. Also take time to familiarize yourself with the company's competition.
  • Prepare three to five questions for the interviewer. You want to appear curious about the company and its prospects and interested in moving up the career ladder.

At the interview

  • Get to the interview at least 15 minutes ahead. This shows you're prepared and eager.
  • Be yourself, don't sound canned. Use statements that are comfortable for you when answering questions.
  • Take your time when answering questions. Thoughtfulness counts and shows your willingness to be genuine.
  • Make sure your body language conveys a professional image. Make good eye contact. Smile in order to show good will and confidence. And maintain a posture that conveys you're relaxed but also ready.
  • Have a resume with you. It is always professional to have a resume ready to pass out at the interview.
  • Ask for a business card. Gather contact information from interviewers so you can send thank you notes.
  • Inquire about a hire time. Don't hesitate to ask the interviewer when they will make a hiring decision.

After the interview:

  • Send a thank you. Do so soon after the interview.
  • Call. If you haven't heard from the interviewer in more than a week, give a call to check on the job's status and keep your hat in the ring.

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