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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.


Join The Conversation
pippins_halfling pippins_halfling 9 years
I have on Friday...
ishop2much ishop2much 10 years
Thanks for the tips. I have one on Monday, and I am already so nervous!
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
lol, i've gotten every job i've ever interviewed for thanks :)
XDeexDeeX XDeexDeeX 10 years
Wow those are handing tips. Thanks Dearsugar!
andaman andaman 10 years
I had mine on Monday! I got the job in the end ( i was super nervous, she was extremly wealthy! her blings nearly blinded me :) ). I would say a lot of smiling and a good sense of humour is a big plus. Also always appear as if you know what you are talking about. Don't lie about what you can do but make the best of what you do know. Impress them with it! This is a really good article. Thanks Popsugar!
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 10 years
good tips everyone... I went on one today!
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
1) don't feel obligated to fill in the silence. there are lots of people that shouldn't be interviewing but are and if you "take over" the interview they won't like it. 2) if you can find out who will interview you try and find a common thread with them and throw that out in the interview. something like a love of rock climbing/running/chess or being from the same part of the country (deep south, east coast). somthing that gives you common ground. it has to be true and you need to slip it in as a normal part of the conversation so pick your time. 3)dress the part. look at what the people there wear. is it suits, pants, high fashion? same with make-up, look like they do. ever notice that shen you go to companies they all look the same? heck even at the sirport or burger king they all look the same. people hire what they feel comfortable with, people who they think are "like" them. 4) try and relax and have fun. be interested in the job. tell them you want the job: "i want this position". 5) a "who would i be reporting to" question is one of my favorites because it gives you a look at the inside from their prospective and shows confidence and interest on your part. 6) be friendly to everyone you meet that day. do not irritate the receptionist, aa or anyone else. no eye rolling, no cell phone talking. totally professional. you exist only in this moment for THIS interview for THIS job.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
This is very good advice. Now how do you find the right job? LOL
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
These are all great tips! My boyfriend was complaining at dinner tonite about all of the poor interview candidates they had at his work this week. Another tip is don't lie in your resume! If they catch you, your resume gets immediately chucked in the shredder!
Bonne Bonne 10 years
Another thing you can do with myspace is create a new one, for showcasing what you do and your talents. Practice! I went on a lot of interviews before finding the right position. Prepare your brieft 30 second bio. They will always ask about you. Follow up with a thank you email or letter.
a-gentle-rain a-gentle-rain 10 years
bring your own pens, tissues, etc. borrowing makes you look a bit unprepared.
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