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Job Interview Tips -- Why Preparation Pays Off

Aug 17, 2007
If you've won an interview for a job, that's cause for celebration in itself. It shows that your prospective employer considers you to be a viable candidate for the position you want. Now it's time for you to brush up your interview skills and get ready to show your 'best self' to help you land the job you dream of.

Careful preparation is an essential component of a polished interview performance to help you outperform the competition. How much do you already know about the hiring company? Do you know who will be interviewing you? What sort of tough questions could come up -- and how would you deal with them?

Feeling nervous already? Don't worry, that's energy you can turn to your advantage. Doing thorough homework helps to get you ready emotionally as well as intellectually to make your best impression. Here are four ways to get ready for the challenge of an interview and market yourself effectively.

1. Find out as much as you can about the company you want to work for. Don't be caught out by topics that expose gaps in your understanding of the business or industry. Good background knowledge can help you deal with those tricky interview questions that require you to 'think on your feet'. You may also discover relevant topics and pressing concerns that you can research in advance.

* Visit the company website and find out the names and roles of key personnel
* Research the main departments and the products or services that the company offers
* Do an online search for news items, press releases and other useful information

2. Learn about your interviewer. If you'll be meeting more than one person, try to find out in advance what each of them does for the company and see if there's information about their recent achievements and activities; there may be an opportunity to refer to some of these details in your interview. Show your interest and enthusiasm for the job by being well-briefed on important issues.

3. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. A practice interview can help you to anticipate major discussion points and get experience in dealing with tough questions. And don't just focus on the content of your answers: interviewers gain a lot of information from non-verbal cues and body language. If you're practicing with a friend, ask for feedback on the impact of your delivery and gestures.

4. Be organized. Keep a checklist in the days leading up to the interview date. Savvy interviewees know the value of preparing for the unexpected -- so make sure that you have essential items at the ready, such as a pen (that works!) and paper for notes, a spare copy of your resume, and a supply of business cards, if you use them. It's also useful to have a mental list of questions that you might want to ask the interviewer.

The knowledge that you've prepared thoroughly for an interview contributes to a calm and positive attitude -- and don't forget the importance of a good night's sleep beforehand to help you stay confident and alert!
About the Author
Nigel Patterson is a business writer and publisher of http://1stClassResume.com

Visit his website for more job interview tips, resume help and samples of resumes and cover letters.
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