Livin' La Vida Lucia

What To Do For An Interview

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

By Lucia Rossi

So, you want to get a job and need to rock this interview to set yourself a part from the other applicants. But how?

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First, you need to believe you are ready and deserving of the job. Confidence is attractive and employees that believe in themselves, in what they’re dong, and the choices they make. Make sure the confidence doesn’t become cockiness, just give off an optimism that sends a pleasant vibe. Nobody wants a Debbe Downer working for them. In order for the interviewer to see why you’re a good match, you should know why you’re a good match.

Next, do your research on the job and the company. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Also, review the job requirements, what abilities or skills they’re looking for and prove you can do them.

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Have your outfit ready the night before so your morning goes smoothly. Get a good nights rest and eat a healthy breakfast. You don’t want to scramble or end up being late. The last thing you want to do is be late. Be sure you have your alarm set, papers together, and directions for where you need to go. Get there 15-20 minutes early just to be safe.

If you’re being interviewed for a professional position, dress accordingly with business attire. If the job is more casual, you should still look clean, classy and well-groomed. The interviewer will notice everything about your look because they’re observing you and are trying to learn about you. So details like your jewelry, your makeup, your hairstyle, it all matters. It’s kind of like how Sherlock Holmes learns everything about a person in seconds just by looking at them, same principle.

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Body language is also something that will be observed, so try not to look too nervous or eager. Show them you are comfortable and relaxed, even if you aren’t. Make eye contact, give a firm but friendly handshake hello and goodbye, lean in when they speak to show your interest and engagement, sit up with your back straight, smile often, and be polite when greeting those around as well. Make that good impression. This is a clean slate where you can build a positive reputation. I’m not saying don’t be yourself. It is important to show your spirit so they can see your individuality, what makes you special.

It is also important to know what you should bring and what you shouldn’t. Bring a portfolio of references, extra copies of your resume, and a list of questions you have for your interviewer. Having a list of questions, at least three, is important because it shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. Ask things that can’t be searched on Google and can reflect your future prospects, like “What new things does the company plan on accomplishing?” or “What are chances of growth and promotion within this job?”  Don’t bring coffee, or chew gum, or have your phone volume on or even in your hand.

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Before you go to the interview, you may want to practice potential interview questions at home so you’re not stumped when they ask you and will help relax your nerves. You’re going to have to anticipate questions from your interviewer because they’re bound to throw you some curve balls. Some questions that you might make you hesitate could be: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you think you’ll be in five or ten years? Why did you leave your last job? Why do you want this job and why do you think you should get it? Think about you answers carefully, be sure to phrase things right. Don’t panic, just be calm and honest but not too honest. Don’t embellish too much because then you’re just lying. Give responses that show you have put a lot of thought into them. If you have a sense of humor, show it, but nothing inappropriate or offensive. Explain your struggles and how you’ve overcome them, talk about your aspirations, and don’t be scared to admit you don’t know something. Listen to what the interviewer is saying, really pay attention, and draw your own conclusions. When in doubt or when they ask you a question you really don’t want to answer, do what politicians do and answer a different question. Do this only in emergencies though. Try to keep your answers short, sweet, and without too much slang.

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Remember, you want to be personable, approachable, relateable, and be genuinely likable and interesting. If you’re a pessimist or a cynic or both, try to turn it down a notch for the interview. If you think your experience on paper is lacking then try to make up for it with your personality. It is more likely that a company will take the person they like best instead of the person who is the most qualified.

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If the interview doesn’t go well or you think the job will not fit with your lifestyle, don’t sweat it. There are other jobs out there and maybe this one was just not meant to be. Have a plan B to fall back on. Have back up jobs you were interested in pursuing and applying for. Interviews can be pretty nerve racking, so make plans afterwards to relax and unwind.

Now, go in there and come out with your head held high.

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