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How to Ace Your Job Interview

A good job interview will get you hired. It is the decisive element of an application process: it’s your opportunity to convince the interviewer that it would be in the company’s best interests to hire you, and it’s the employer’s opportunity to get a sense of who you are and if you’d be a good fit for the company.

Since both of you have a vested interest in the outcome, neither of you is justified in feeling superior or defensive or nervous. You are simply two people coming together to explore whether you would work well together. Since that’s the case, there’s no reason for you to walk into the room hat in hand, implicitly asking for a job. Rather, you should look at the interview as an opportunity you’re providing the employer: they will do better with you than without you. If you can be confident that the company will benefit from your employment, then the person interviewing you can be, too. It is important to begin the interview from a position of strength: “I can help you”—and not one of need: “Please hire me!”

It is inherently nerve-wracking to interview for anything, let alone a job. We all know what it feels like to have our nerves get the best of us and ruin what could have been. Fortunately, there is something you can do to combat those nerves: prepare! Set up for yourself, in advance, what you want to say—about yourself, about your career history, about what your approach will be in your new job—and how you want to say it, so that, whatever you’re asked, you will have a ready, comprehensive, and compelling response. Don’t leave it to the moment to come up with an answer—be prepared!

Always refer to the company as “us/we;” it makes hiring you a foregone conclusion and makes you sound like you already have a stake in the well-being of the company.

You also want to approach the interview with an open and friendly demeanor—not one that is guarded and insecure. If you can demonstrate to the person across the desk that you are engaged with them and what they have to say; that you are receptive to their questions and their concerns; and that you are excited about the prospect of talking with them and about working at their company, they can feel the same about you.

Make the most out of your interview. Be prepared, approach it with a positive frame of mind, and enjoy the prospect of describing your strengths as a future employee. A good resume can get you in the door; but a good interview can land you a job!

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