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The Ultimate Guide to Job Interviews

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You wrote a resume that expresses you.

You're able to compose an original and gripping cover letter.

AND NOW - You have your interview!

Relax and be energized. See it as a conversation -- two people talking, getting to know each other, and learning who you are. It's a simple Q & A.

Envision your success. Picture your confidence and strength, your expert knowledge and abilities. Live who you are as you prepare to get hired.

Start Researching

Study the company; their website, motto, mission statement, history, the people who work there. When something peaks your attention, write it down because those are the keys, the vital words, and info about the work team that will help you talk and build rapport during your interview.

Discover:

  • Who is their competition?
  • Are they in the news?
  • How do they make money?
  • Where do they stand with social media?
  • What are their future goals?

Write it all down because soon the interviewer will ask, "What questions do you have for me?"
Please - don't lead with vacation time or when you'll be promoted. Consciously go deep with your research. It will enhance your ability to get the job.

Follow Your Instincts

Your brain will be moving fast; connecting you to many things. Keep track of the ideas flooding your mind. They are the touchstones for your interviewing success.

  • What did they see in my resume and cover letter that made them want me?
  • How will I fill the job description?
  • What kind of growth is possible?
  • What problem will I solve for them?
  • How much do I want this job?

What to Wear for Success?

Seems simple, even silly to consider, but first impressions are crucial and lasting.

  • Dress professionally. Dark suit and tie for a man. And...shine your shoes.
  • Same for a lady. Real shoes. Pantsuit or nice skirt and blouse. Simple jewelry. Be conservative.
  • Be comfortable. Make sure it all fits. Not too tight, too baggy, too revealing or out dated. Decide what to wear while sending out resumes. Don't leave it to the end.
  • No cologne or perfume.
  • Take out all hardware - nose, tongue and eye brow rings.
  • Don't carry a back pack to change up in the bathroom. Come dressed and pressed.
  • Carry a simple brief case or envelope from 'Staples' to hold your resumes and letters of recommendation. Pen and pad of paper for notes. Always be prepared.
  • Yes. Have written testimonials from bosses to leave with your interviewer. Immediate recognition of your accomplishments builds credibility and motivation for hiring you. Get them to instantly buy into you.
  • Bring extra resumes. You never know who you will be meeting.
  • Book one interview per day. The process can be lengthy and requires all your attention.
  • Be well groomed -- hair, teeth, breath, nails.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early. Check in and go to the bathroom to check yourself out. From the moment you arrive on site be courteous and professional to everyone. Don't talk down to the receptionist. They may be interviewing you, and word travels fast how you treat people.

Know Where You're Going

  • Do a practice run in advance of your interview. Where is the company located? Will you drive, walk, take a subway or bus? Parking? Is there a security check in? Time of day is key - morning is busy as people commute. Same with lunch and going home. Don't risk being late, getting lost or panicky.
  • You're stepping into a new environment; offices and people you have not experienced. Arriving early helps you adapt; to soak it all in and become part of you.
  • Turn off your phone.

Your Interview!

  • Get a good night's sleep and in the morning do whatever focuses and relaxes you. Eat breakfast, exercise, meditate, play your favorite music to power up and settle in. Don't rush around. Be positive.
  • Breathe deeply and when you meet your interviewer stand up and shake hands with confidence. Make sure your shake is firm and dry. Call her/him by name and have their bio clearly in mind.
  • Smile ;^))
  • Talk to the person and make eye contact.
  • Watch you posture. Don't slump or fold your arms.
  • Be ready to talk about your achievements, why you want the job, how you solved a tough problem, what are your weaknesses and strengths.
  • Answer the questions honestly and be your true self. That's how you win.
  • Don't make jokes or ramble on.
  • Don't talk against people. No complaining, whining or negativity.
  • It's understandable you'll be a bit nervous, but avoid using too many buzzwords and phrases such as - "cool, awesome, uh, uh, uh...innovative, track record, extensive knowledge, communication skills, problem solver, think on my feet..." Be direct and have succinct life examples to back up your work and accomplishments.
  • When asked: "Tell me about yourself." Don't start with first grade. Talk about your goals and why you want to work at the company. Blend it with your studies, training and job expertise.

How Do I Keep In touch With You?

At the conclusion of the interview, it's important to say thank you and, ask for their personal business card. All the information you will need to follow up is there. Do this with everyone you meet.

Ask:

1. How soon are you looking to fill this position? Or - Where are you in the hiring process?

2. What is the best way for me to keep in touch with you? The person will tell you. They may like email or prefer you call their assistant. They may give you a specific time of day; early morning or never after 5pm.

Express Your Gratitude

  • When you leave, thank the receptionist. Get their name because they will help you reach the people you met.
  • When you exit, head to a coffee shop and write down your impressions. Then write thank you notes to everyone -- a different and original note for each person. Don't be generic, and send immediately, or email within 24 hours. pROOF READ IT! Make sure you use the right words - "effect or affect - to and too - compliment and complement - who or whom."
  • You want them to know how grateful you are for their time AND...how interested you are in the job. Gratitude is a powerful tool for your strength. It's also memorable and attractive to others.
  • If a week or more passes without hearing, do some follow up via phone or email. Be friendly...just check in to see if any decisions have been made and express your continued enthusiasm to work for them.
This post is more than a check list. It's a guide to bring forth your true self, your best qualities and your core values.

Every step of your interview should promote your integrity, pride and gratitude.

Keep going after the jobs you want. Apply and interview until you get what you want. You're screening the company and people as much as they are interviewing you. These are your dreams.

To your success!