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Interview Checklist

by Angi Cividino

Today's job market is extremely competitive, so just being selected for an interview is a huge step in the right direction. Your next challenge, however, is to prepare for the interview and then to show up with all the right moves. Think you can pull it off? Well, here are 10 rules for you to follow to ensure your success:

  1. Do your homework. Prior to the interview, learn as much as you can about the employer/company. This shows that you are serious about the job and that you've got initiative. Visit the company's website to get a feel for what the company is all about.
  2. Practice makes perfect. Spend some time going over your pitch. KNOW what your strengths and weaknesses are. KNOW what you're going to say when asked, "tell me about yourself."
  3. Look the part. Plan your wardrobe the night before the big interview. Consider your personal style, but keep in mind that image is everything. The best approach is a conservative one. Avoid excessive perfumes, colognes, jewelry, makeup, etc. Until you actually get the job - play it cool.
  4. Be on your best behaviour. If you had a bad night or a crazy morning, you're better off leaving all that negative energy outside. From the moment you step into the office (or wherever), you will want to radiate positive energy. Don't argue. Be yourself, but put your best face forward.
  5. Come prepared. Bring extra copies of your resume, a separate list of references and/or evaluations from former employers. Bring something to write on, but leave your laptop at home. (A PDA is okay.) And for heaven's sake, turn off your cell phone.
  6. Ask questions. When you get the call to come in for an interview, ask if you'll be tested and if you'll be interviewed by more than one person. If you have any burning questions to ask once the interviewer has completed his or her round of questioning, have at least one good question prepared. Ask an interesting question about the company.
  7. Remember why you applied and why you want the job. They say that looking for work is a full-time job. While that may be true, you want to make sure you remember which job it is that you're being interviewed for - and why you applied. Stress the good points. If you are having any doubts as to whether or not you want to work for this company, then maybe this isn't the right fit for you. Employers want people who want to work for them. Period.
  8. Relax. Watch your breathing. Take your time in answering the interviewer's questions. You are not being put under the microscope for something criminal…you're simply being interviewed for a job. Show them that you ARE the best person for the job!
  9. Close the deal. Although you may want to run for the hills, end the interview on a positive note by thanking the interviewer for taking time out of his or her day. And don't forget to ask, "When will a hiring decision be made?"
  10. Follow-up. If the employer tells you that he or she will call you on a certain date, make sure that you are home to take that call. If no arrangement has been made (and it's been about two weeks), then make the call to find out where things stand. Sometimes the hiring process takes more time than is expected. At any rate, it's a good idea to send a "thank you" note or email.

Angi Cividino is a Former Content Developer for YES Canada. She can be contacted at fragile@telus.net

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