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8 Tips For Acing That Interview
Rita Fisher, CPRW
Copyright/Career Change Resumes

1. Research, research, and research some more about the company you are applying for (via Internet, newspapers, trade publications, newsletters, and of course, your library's reference desk). The more you know about what they do, how they operate, the better. Use this knowledge in your interview. When there is a lull in the conversation, you can say something like this: "So, I have heard that the company is expanding its production line to include xyz gadget. When are you starting the production of these?"

2. Dress comfortably and conservatively. Men: wear a dark gray or blue suit with an ironed white shirt, conservative tie, dark socks and shoes. If the job you are applying for doesn't require a suit, wear dark, solid color pants or slacks with a sport shirt in a solid color or with subtle stripes. Don't wear jeans or athletic shoes. Women: no flashy jewelry or heavy makeup. Wear a medium to dark color suit, or a dress with a jacket, or a jacket and skirt together. Choose a light colored blouse -- preferably white or ivory.

Both men and women: Make sure that your overall appearance is professional and as perfect as possible.

3. Treat everyone you come in contact with at the company as if they have the authority to hire you (in fact, they might have, you never know.) It isn't rare for the hiring authority to ask the receptionist/secretary after the interview has been concluded how friendly the potential employee was while waiting for the interview.

4. Make and maintain good eye contact.

5. If you are nervous, feel free to say so. Say something like: "I find myself very nervous because I'm very interested in your organization." Acknowledging your nervousness and anxiety often reduces it and interviewers are usually very understanding. (Remember, it has been known that people hire people who they feel comfortable with. So, make yourself as comfortable as possible!)

6. Ask questions, don't just sit there waiting to be interrogated. You have just as much right to find out everything about the company as they have finding out about you. Sample questions:

"In your opinion, what are the most relevant abilities for this job?" "Would you describe the long-term goals of the company?" "Is there anything from my previous experiences that you would like me to elaborate on?"

7. Make sure you indicate that you want the job! One of the top 10 reasons why a person doesn't get hired is the lack of enthusiasm and interest in both the company and the particular position.

8. Make sure that you have several copies of your résumé with you in case the interviewer asks for it and in case a panel of people will interview you. Also, have your four to five professional references listed on a separate sheet of paper (same quality paper as résumé). When the interviewer asks about your references, voila, you will have them right there to present to him/her. (Having your references ready and with you for the interview shows a degree of preparedness & professionalism.)

9. Follow up the interview -- IMMEDIATELY -- with a thank-you letter. About 95% of job candidates ignore this essential step. If you want to stand out from your competition and leave a final, positive impression with the person who interviewed you, you need to send a thank-you letter. Use quality stationery whether you handwrite it or type it. Include these elements:

  • Appreciation of the interviewing person's time
  • The understanding of duties in your job; highlight ways your qualifications match them
  • Mention that you are highly motivated and eager to succeed
  • Also mention that you hope you are being considered for the job, because you are very interested in it
  • Say that you look forward to talking to him/her in the near future.

Good luck to you! Go and get them!
Be confident in your abilities!

Career Change Resumes
Professional résumé writing services and workshops
for career changing individuals
Phone: 812-375-6190
2826 Hawcreek Blvd., Columbus, IN 47203

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