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Job Interview Techniques to Help You Land Your Next Job

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Your resume may get your foot in the door, but you'll never land the job if you fail to make a good impression during the interview. These job interview techniques will help you be prepared and confident so you can ace that interview and dazzle your prospective employer.

Job Interview Techniques: Before the Interview

  • Make sure you know where you're supposed to go for the interview. Find a map online and, if you have the time, consider making a practice run so you'll know how long it takes to get there.
  • Research the company by checking out its website and looking for recent news items online. Make sure you know as much about the company as you can before you go in for your interview.
  • Compile a list of common job interview questions, and practice your answers for each one.
  • Come up with a list of questions to ask your interviewer. Avoid asking questions about salary or benefits until you actually get a job offer, and don't ask questions with answers that are easily looked up. Focus on asking about the position, the people with whom you'll be working, the customers, and the company itself.
  • Practice interviewing with friends or family, and ask them to critique your answers. If possible, record these practice sessions so you can pay attention to your body language and posture.
  • Determine your availability ahead of time. The interviewer may want to know when you can start.
  • Know going in what your expectations are with regards to salary and benefits, just in case the interviewer asks you how much you expect to make.
  • Dress appropriately in clothing that fits well and looks nice on you. If you're unsure about the dress code, it's best to err on the side of caution. Unless you show up wearing a tuxedo or evening gown, you can't be overdressed.
  • Visit the restroom before reporting for your interview. There's no telling how long it may last.
  • Make sure you shower and groom yourself well before the interview. Make sure your teeth are brushed and your breath is fresh. Avoid dousing yourself in cologne or perfume.
  • Spit out your gum before you show up for the interview. Trying to talk and smile with gum in your mouth is difficult at best, and downright unprofessional at worst.
  • Show up 10-15 minutes early.

Job Interview Techniques: During the Interview

  • Greet everyone in the room with eye contact and a firm handshake. Be courteous and treat everyone equally, from the receptionist to the CEO.
  • Be mindful of your voice when you're speaking. Mumbling is annoying, but talking too loudly is just obnoxious.
  • Avoid using slang when you greet people. “Whassup?” is not an appropriate greeting in a formal interview setting.
  • Respect boundaries and personal space. Try to maintain a cushion of 36 inches from everyone when possible.
  • Watch your posture, and make sure you're not slouching or sitting too stiffly.
  • Wait until you're asked to sit before doing so. Once you're seated, avoid fidgeting or shuffling around in your chair.
  • Try to look interested when people are speaking, no matter how dull they may be. Smile and nod your head on occasion just to let them know you're paying attention.
  • Try to sound confident when you speak. Avoid starting your sentences with “uh” or “um,” and keep your answers short and to the point.
  • Maintain eye contact when talking to someone or if someone is talking to you. Looking away makes you look shy, shifty, or just not interested. If there are several interviewers, try to divide your attention between them equally when speaking.
  • Ask questions! Just make sure you listen and respond appropriately to the answers, and try to keep it conversational.
  • Don't keep checking the clock or your watch during the interview. It sends a clear message that you'd rather be somewhere else.
  • If you're left alone in a room, don't do anything you wouldn't do in front of the interviewers. You just might be on camera.

Job Interview Techniques: After the Interview

  • When the interview is over, shake hands with everyone in the room and thank them for their time.
  • If you're still interested in the position, let the employer know that you want to work for the company and you hope you'll be considered.
  • If you're not interested in the position, you might want to mention that as well. If the issue is a minor one, the company might be willing to resolve it.
  • Ask the interviewer when you can expect a decision and whether or not you can follow up at a later date. That way, you won't be sitting by the phone or pestering the company with calls while you're waiting to hear back from them.
  • Send a thank you note to your interviewer(s) as soon as you get home from the interview. This can be done by regular mail or e-mail. Make sure the note is brief and to the point.
  • If you don't hear back from the company within the specified time, feel free to follow up. Just remember to be polite and avoid any guilt trips.
  • While the interview is still fresh in your mind, write down everything you can about it. Pay particular attention to what went well and what didn't. If you don't get the job, you'll know which of your job interview techniques still need work.

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