How To Have A Successful Job Interview

Tips on how to prepare for, and have a successful job interview and overcome nervousness by preparing mentally.

When applying for a job, especially a job you really want, it's not unusual to feel nervous and anxious. Sometimes it's this anxiety, not our qualifications, that keep us from obtaining our dream job.

Carrying out a successful interview involves two factors: one mental and the other physical. Mentally, it's important to prepare yourself for the interview without obsessing over it. Remember, it might be your dream job, but it won't be the end of the world if you don't get it. Tell yourself that the company would be lucky to get you and if they choose someone else, it will be their loss. In essence, build your self-confidence to the point where you are self-assured but not smug, and your ability to answer all questions without hesitation will certainly impress the interviewer.

Now that you are mentally ready for any question that might be thrown your way, it's time to work on your physical presentation. No matter what position you are applying for, your physical appearance at the interview will be a big factor in the final determination. It's always a good idea to wear a suit; it doesn't have to be a designer suit, but something plain and conservative. In other words, do not wear a red "Ally McBeal" suit for your interview. Make sure, too, that it is clean and pressed. This may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised. While it's not necessary to visit the beauty salon before your interview, make sure that your nails are well-manicured (no neon pink or black polish) and your hair is styled carefully and neatly.

You now look and feel ready for the interview. Now is the time to merge the two factors - mental and physical - to guarantee success. Upon initially meeting your interviewer, look him/her directly in the eyes, introduce yourself with a handshake (firm but not overbearing). Maintain eye contact at all times during the interview, and show interest in everything the interviewer talks about. Provide direct and honest answers to all questions, but only give what is asked for. Do not go into detail about how many babysitters you've been through or why you didn't get along with your co-workers at your last job. Keep your hands folded in your lap to avoid the nervous urge to play with a pen or twist your hair. Also, keep your legs cross at the ankles to avoid leg jerking, which is a sure sign of impatience and nervousness. Smile at appropriate times, but do not giggle or overdo the laughter at the interviewer's attempt at humor. This, again, will show your nervousness and lack of confidence.

If after following all of the above steps, you are not offered the job on the spot, do not panic. Stay assured and confident - remember they need you as much as you want them - and end the interview on a confident note, "I look forward to working with you" or "This sounds like an excellent company to work for, I look forward to it." Being confident, conservative and to the point will almost certainly get you your dream job.

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