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The 4 Things You Need to Do to Make the Most of Your Job Interview

Hopefully you are reading this because you landed a job interview. Congratulations! Now you need to make sure you don't waste this opportunity to make a great impression and get the job. You need to practice and train for the big day. If you were an athlete, you would have trainers and coaches to help you prepare for the big day and show you how to act in different situations. But as a job seeker, you don't have a coach or trainer and will need to dedicate your time to develop your interviewing skills in much the same way that an athlete would train and practice.

Think of the job interview as the championship game. All of the time and energy you poured into the searching and getting your resume and cover letter in order have gotten you to this point. You have done well so far. Now you get to have a one-on-one discussion with the potential employer and tell them why you are the best choice for their position. No matter how great your resume is, it has done its job and now it is your turn to sell yourself. You must prepare yourself or you may lose out to another candidate.

You need a job interview coach or trainer just like athletes preparing for the big game would have. In the absence of such a trainer, your job in preparing for your job interview is to come up with a way to make yourself stand out and appear confident and qualified. There is more than just giving the right answers to interview questions. For example, your interviewers will also be looking at your interpersonal skills or how well you carry yourself and interact with others. For example, do you make good eye contact or stare at the table, do you come across as friendly, do you offer a firm handshake, do you smile, do you have enthusiasm and energy in your voice when you speak?

1. Task One - Research and Learn About Your Potential Employer... Before the Interview

Being invited to meet your potential employer is a great honor - it means that you made the cut! Congratulations! Now the hard work starts. Take some time to research and learn about the company, any recent news, perhaps some of the challenges it faces in its market or with its products or services. You can learn a lot in just an hour or two using the Internet. Take notes on any important items you learn. Is there any way you might be able to use the information you learned in your interview? Do you now have any questions you would like to ask in your interview? Questions based on your research show that you took time to learn about them and can make a good impression.

If you haven't already, you will want to research the company using LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, you will be able to find information about companies, but more importantly, the people who work for them. In fact, many times you will be able to read profiles on the people who might interview you. Compare their backgrounds against yours and see what activities they have been working on recently.

When you are done with your research, evaluate all of it against your background and experience. Is there a way you can use what you have learned to present yourself in a better light or have some discussions on topics that perhaps that give you an edge. For example, if you learn they are replacing an system or changing a process similar to work you have done before, you should definitely talk about this. It could give you an edge and would be interesting conversation for the interviewers. These are the types of interesting stories or examples you can share with your interviewers. More and more companies use behavioral interviewing techniques, so it is very important that you identify and prepare lots of examples to share as you answer their job interview questions. Being prepared will help you appear confident in the actual interview.

2. Task 2 - Prepare to Tackle the Top Interview Questions

Many people panic at the thought of those tough interview questions. The questions are what p

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