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Mastering the Job Interview

 

  1. Do make eye contact when speaking and listening to others - a leader doesn't shy away from connecting with others one-on-one.
  2. Don't be apologetic - be assertive but not aggressive.
  3. Do dress professionally. Pick an outfit that you know you look good in, and also is comfortable. Make sure it isn't too revealing or tight, but it shouldn't be frumpy either. Avoid spiked heels, heavy perfume or excessive make-up. Your presence should not be offensive to the interviewer, or cause an allergic reaction. Regarding jewelry, keep it simple. Make sure your hair looks neat and well kept.
  4. Don't be negative. If you've been at home raising a family, tell about the experience you have organizing events for children or volunteering with community organizations. Don't worry if you weren't being paid - you still have transferable skills.
  5. Do decline to answer personal questions you feel are inappropriate. You may want to be a team player, but you don't have to answer questions about your marital status or your family situation unless you want to.
  6. Don't neglect role-playing as an important tool in preparing for the interview. Use a friend, family member or career counselor to evaluate your answers and point out habits you never realized were so annoying (i.e. saying "like" and "you know.")
  7. Do smile frequently, especially during the most important first few moments of the interview. Keep in mind that you're being interviewed by everyone you meet, including secretaries.
  8. Don't think that shaking hands is for men only. Remember to shake firmly with the interviewer, both before and after the interview.
  9. Do have two to four questions ready to ask the interviewer, and be prepared to cite six to seven significant achievements that you can relate to the questions that come your way.
  10. Don't neglect the follow-up letter. Even if your interview was spectacular, neglecting to send a thank-you note immediately after your job interview shows a lack of interest in the job. Follow the letter up with a call if you haven't heard anything after ten days to two weeks. Chances are they have made no decisions, but this is an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the company.