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When you have found a job opportunity that appears to be a perfect fit, in order to be offered that position, you need to be the best version of you that you can be in the interview process. You will be competing against other candidates, and you need to make sure that your future employer sees you as the best candidate. Here are a few things to consider before you have that first interview.
First impressions count
The hard truth is that job interviewers can usually tell if you are an ideal candidate for the job within the first few seconds of meeting you. You have to put your best foot forward and present yourself in the best light you can. That means your personal appearance, outfit, facial expressions and body language. You want to be confident, not cocky, give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and show your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
Even if the position or job is casual, dress for success and wear a nice suit, and whatever you do, lay low on the heavy cologne, perfume and makeup. White socks are a bad idea, and a wrinkled shirt or an unshaved face will not be seen as being appropriate. If you want to have a really quick interview, eat garlic bread before you get there, and walk in chewing gum. Either one will make an impression, and not a good one.
Connect with your job interviewer
Interviewers tend to like candidates they feel comfortable with and that they think will fit in with the company culture. You want to build rapport with your interviewer. While you have to be yourself, making an effort to connect with your interviewer will go a long way to winning them to being positive about you as a candidate. Whatever you do, turn off your cell phone.
Have your answers ready
You will be asked about your background, school, previous position, and any gaps in your resume. Having thought about answers before you get into the interview is definitely a must. You will likely be asked about your compensation history, and interviewers do not like it when candidates say "I'm not ready to discuss that at this time". That could be the end of it for that candidate. Interviewers are paid to get details like compensation, and it puts them in a bad light when that information is refused.
Always bring extra copies of your resume. They may have you meet additional people, which is a good thing, and having the extra copies will definitely come in handy and show that you think ahead and are prepared.
After the interview
You want to leave behind a lasting impression with your interviewer. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to interview for the position, reaffirm your interest, and shake their hand before you leave.
A thank you note should always be written after an interview. If it is down to two candidates, and the other candidate writes a nice thank you note, and you do not, who do you think continued to make a good impression? In a brief, concise way, you should restate your interest and enthusiasm for the position, thank the person for their time and consideration and state why now more than ever you especially think you are a very good fit for the company. Make sure you check for typos.