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How to Ace a Job Interview

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Welcome to the jungle, my man. This is it, do or die, survival of the fittest. Afraid you’re going to blow it? Relax. Here are some fail-safe tactics that’ll shoot you to the top of anybody’s short list. PLAY

You Will Need A professional-looking outfit A briefcase or portfolio An up-to-date resume And a positive attitude PLAY

Step 1: Do your research. Pour over the company’s website, search for relevant news items about it and its major competitors, and catch up on the latest developments in your field. PLAY

Look for connections between the company’s needs and your skills. Be prepared to discuss how your accomplishments complement the company’s goals. PLAY

Step 2: Arrive early. Arrive a few minutes early. At the very least, be right on time. Never arrive late for a job interview—that’s just lame. PLAY

Step 3: Dress the part Dress the part to give the visual impression that you belong. Not every interview requires a coat and tie, but you should always look neat and professional. PLAY

Step 4: Make nice

Make nice with any employees you meet while waiting, and always be nice to the receptionist—she’s the eyes and ears of the company. PLAY

Step 5: Greet with firm handshake

Greet your interviewer with a firm, dry handshake. Don’t give just a limp finger grab, don’t go overboard and crush their hand, and don’t try anything funny or clever. PLAY

Step 6: Bring updated resume

Make sure your resume and list of references are up to date, and bring extra copies of both. PLAY

Step 7: Listen & ask questions

Listen as much as you talk. Keep your answers on point, and don’t forget to ask questions as well as answer them. Did you quit your last job to play poker for a year? If so, be ready to explain why—you will be asked. PLAY

Step 8: Be positive

Put a positive spin on everything. Everyone wants to hire a team player, so resist the urge to complain about another job or badmouth a former employer. PLAY

Step 9:

Don't exaggerate skills

Don’t exaggerate your skills or your knowledge. Be straight about what you do and don’t know, and offer to learn more if you get the job.

Let your personality show, but save the theatrics for when you’re hanging out with your friends. PLAY

Step 10:

Use proper body language

Smile, nod, and maintain eye contact. The proper body language conveys interest and engagement. NO SLOUCHING! PLAY

Step 11: Ask about process

Before you leave, ask about the next step in the process and the overall timeline for filling the position. PLAY

Step 12:

Thank everyone

Don’t forget to thank everyone on the way out. When you get home, mail a handwritten note to each person you spoke with. PLAY

Did you know: Interviewers at Microsoft often asked job applicants why manhole covers are round, just to test how well they thought on their feet. PLAY

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