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The How-To Lounge: Acing a Job Interview

Pursuing a new job gives the nerves a work-out, especially if it's a job you really have your heart set on. The pressure of that first meeting creates serious stress, and keeping calm feels impossible but vitally necessary.

It's important to look good on paper, but a confident interview reveals to your potential employer a number of important clues about your abilities and attributes. We want you to be memorable! I've pulled together a few tips for making the best first impression.

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  • Be aware that potential employers might browse your MySpace. Before you start your job search, set your page to a private setting
  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so look sharp and put together. While different companies have different dress codes, a simple, classic suit is always a safe bet. Your clothes should be pressed. Don't wear too much makeup or jewelry; the fewer the distractions the better
  • Bring along multiple copies of your resume. There's a chance you'll meet with more than one person, and it looks good to be prepared
  • Do your homework. Know about the company and understand the role for which you're interviewing. Review your resume; you want the details to be fresh in your mind. Use positive self talk with yourself before the interview, and use it during the interview, too
  • Prepare questions in advance and feel free to ask questions during the interview, not merely at the end. When you're asked if you have any questions, have some questions. It's a way of being engaged and involved in the process. They want you to have a few questions
  • When meeting anyone for the first time, fresh breath and a firm handshake matter. Pop in (and finish) a mint a few minutes before walking through the door. No chewing gum. Posture communicates, too, so stand up straight and sit up straight. Breathe
  • Don't be late, but don’t show up too early either. I recommend walking in for your interview about 5 minutes early
  • Don’t be afraid to show a little bit of your personality and sense of humor in your interview. Avoid being stiff or robotic with your answers

May you find and secure your dream job, ladies! Any other tips? Please share.


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