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How to Get an Interview and the Job

Savvy Guide to Getting the Interview and Making an Impression

After sorting through piles of resumes that all look similar, hiring managers hold rounds and rounds of interviews. Get through the first round of interviews and make a lasting impression with these basic fallback tips.

  1. Step Up Your Job SearchFortune suggests the following tips for job searching in a weak market: request more face-to-face meetings; step up your job-search activity; try to be as flexible as you can; consider relocating; scour the hidden job market; spend very little of your time on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads; take advantage of social networking sites.
  2. Put Yourself in the Interviewer's Shoes — Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes. When she's looking at your resume, what questions will she likely develop? Come up with specific experiences that go with each question and work out the best answer when you practice aloud. Then, ask a friend to play interviewer and think of her own questions.
  3. Get Dressed Thoughtfully — Your attire should be interview-appropriate, which generally means at least one step up from the company's dress code.
  4. Impressions Start While You're Waiting — Sitting and waiting gives an interviewee plenty of opportunity to showcase nerves — the leg shaking, nail biting, hair twirling, foot tapping, etc. You want to present yourself as a confident candidate, not an anxious mess, so be mindful of your mannerisms in the waiting room for a strong start.
  5. Your Handshake Is the Real Window to Your Soul — Your handshake tells a lot about you and is a crucial part of a professional first impression.
  6. Approach Your Job Interview With This Attitude — When you're obviously younger than an interviewer, there can be a tendency to take on a subordinate role in the conversation. Do your best to present yourself as an equal, no matter the position of your interviewer.
  7. Answering the Weakness Question — It's probably the most disliked interview question, and it's one that employers love to ask. Practice your answer so that you don't stumble through it come interview time. Check out these recruiters' tips for how to answer the question well.
  8. One Question You Must Nail — Why are you the best person for the job? Figure out what you bring to the table, and during an interview know how to explicitly convey why you are the best person for the job.
  9. Prepare Questions For Your Interviewer — When asked what question they usually ask at the end of an interview, most of the self-made billionaires from the Forbes 400 list said they always ask if the candidate has any questions for them. Come prepared with a list.
  10. Give Thanks — Send an individual thank-you note to each person who interviewed you. An emailed note is sometimes appropriate, but a hand-written note is a bit more memorable. Place the blank cards in your leather-bound portfolio and sit down at the coffee shop down the street to write them just after the interview.

Seeking a new job? Check out all our job search coverage for support.

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