How to Survive Your Job Interview

You may have gone through every step of preparing to land a good job with confidence by gaining experience, honing your education, and writing a good, solid resume.  Once those efforts start to pay off and you get a call for an interview with a potential employer, you may find yourself struck with a bad case of nervousness.  This problem is common and, fortunately, it’s one that’s all in your head – there’s nothing about a job interview you should be nervous about if you’re confident and secure.

Bolstering your own self-confidence can be difficult, but it can certainly be done.  Practice goes a long way to helping you look confident and secure, so ask friends and family to stage interviews with you.  While the atmosphere may be more relaxed than an interview with a potential employer, you’ll learn to have answers ready for when they’re asked.  Use a mirror and practice with yourself, as well, to eliminate nervous looks and to maintain that air of confidence and strength.  When you do finally meet your interviewer, give a good firm handshake, don’t drop your gaze, smile, and avoid any nervous tics or twitches.

It is important that you be open and totally truthful when answering questions for a job interview. You will no longer be in contention for the job if you are caught in a lie. Before the interview, give some thought to how you will answer difficult questions about your work, education, or personal history. If you’ve made mistakes at your previous employment, soften the blow by the way you phrase your answers, but don’t leave the wrong impression by glossing over the questions.

During an interview, it helps to know what is questions are legal and appropriate to ask. In some cases you are not legally required to answer certain questions and your refusal cannot be held against you. Be aware of this fact: there are some topics that are illegal for interviewers to approach. It does help to know your rights, but you shouldn’t be belligerent about it. Even if you are admitting to something you must explain, such as a big work history gap or a lack of career goals, give your answers to your potential employer with confidence.

Many articles and books have been written on how to dress for an interview. It is almost all common sense. The best way to look during an interview is clean and neat in a business suit or professional looking blouse and pants. If you look professional, dress professionally, and are well spoken, you are well on your way to getting the job you desire.

Finally, once the interview is almost over, help your case by asking your would-be employer questions about the job you’re applying for or the organization itself.  Asking questions shows that you have a serious interest in where you work and that you have potential dedication to your employer.

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