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Powerful People

Interview Tips

Preparation is essential to remaining calm under pressure and is the first step toward a successful interview. Here are some tips:

10 Deadly Sins: How NOT to get the job.

1. Late to the interview. Give yourself plenty of time to get here.

2. Inappropriate attire/grooming. Look your professional best. Wear business attire in neutral colors and be conservative in your use of fragrance, cosmetics and jewelry.

3. Limited eye contact/limp handshake. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and an enthusiastic smile. Look your interviewer in the eye.

4. Little evidence of company knowledge. Research the company to learn relevant facts such as annual sales revenue, principal lines of business, and locations.

5. Bad-mouthing former bosses, co-workers. Don't make unnecessary derogatory remarks about your present or former employers. Obviously, there were issues or else you would not have left a prior company or be looking to leave a present employer. However, when explaining your reasons for leaving, limit your comments to those necessary to adequately communicate your rationale.

6. Ringing cell phone. Turn it off.

7. Treating receptionist or any other employer poorly. If you treat those you have contact with in the process poorly, employers will assume you will treat others in the organization poorly if hired.

8. Appearing disinterested. Be enthusiastic about the job and the company. The people you meet during your job search and at your interviews can become valuable networking sources, even if you don't get the job.

9. Arrogance. Be confident, but not arrogant.

10. Lying. Tell the truth always. If the truth is ugly, focus on what you learned from the situation.

10 Interviewing Virtues: How to NAIL it!

1. Research. Visit the company’s website to learn more about the organization. LinkedIn or common acquaintances are good places to research your interviewers’ backgrounds.

2. Sell yourself. Catalog your accomplishments and be prepared to speak about them. Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you.

3. Practice. Research common behavioral interview questions and be prepared to speak about specific examples in your work history.

4. Social profiles to private. It is always a good idea to set your social networking sites to private when in a job search. 

5. Get to the point. Don’t over-answer questions. Be thorough, but succinct with your responses.

6. Have goals. Employers want to see that you are goal-oriented and have the desire to grow professionally.

7. Be confident. Don’t underestimate the importance of your body language and communication style in an interview. Look the interviewer in the eye while speaking.

8. Ask questions. Be prepared to ask questions during the interview that are based on your research of the company and industry. Insightful and pertinent questions will demonstrate that you've done your homework and that you're serious about the position. And your questions will help both of you determine if you are the right match for the job. Remember a lack of questions may be mistaken as a lack of interest.

9. Close strong. Be proactive. Reiterate your interest in the job and the company by asking about the next step in the process.

10. Send a thank you note. Sending a thank-you note demonstrates that you are good with people. You employ the most basic of people skills — a show of gratitude.