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by Karen Phillips

10 BEST DO’S AND DON’TS FOR A JOB INTERVIEW

RANDOMLY COMPILED BY KAREN PHILLIPS

RESEARCH THE COMPANY BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW.

Explore the company website and the “about us” section. How were they started? What is their specialty? What role could you play if you were part of this company? Make sure you know enough to explain why you want to work there, why you are qualified to work there and why you would be an asset to their company.

DON’T GO TO JOB INTERV IEWS IN WHICH YOU’RE UNQUALIFIED (OR UNINTERESTED).

Never reveal that you’re at an interview because you need a job. Employers aren’t hiring just anybody, they’re hiring employees who will fill a void at their companies or who will help the company grow and succeed. Be enthusiastic about the position you’re applying for and help the interviewer see how your qualifications fit his needs.

DON’T LET YOUR PARENTS APPLY FOR A JOB FOR YOU.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but here it is. This doesn’t look professional and it reminds the employer just how young you are. If your parents drive you to the interview, to pick up an application or to drop off your résumé, ask them kindly to wait in the car while you do what needs to be done. You’ll look more mature and more independent, and employers will automatically think you’re more qualified for the position.

THINK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.

This question is commonly asked at interviews; but even if it’s not, it’s a good way for you to start thinking about what type of job would be best for you and what you might need to work on in order to be successful in your chosen career path.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

Employers interview hundreds of applicants who respond the same way. They are looking for people who stand out above the rest. Be honest. Think about the question and come up with creative but informed responses.

DON’T DRESS LIKE A SCHLUMP.

No employer can hire you or deny hiring you because of how you’re dressed, but they do get an initial impression of your work ethic based on your attire. Make it a good one. Business casual is usually a good standard. If you’re not sure what qualifies as business casual, ask Google.

UPDATE YOUR RÉSUMÉ.

Too many young people don’t have résumés, and if they do, they haven’t learned how to put them together correctly. Résumés are the employer’s first impression of you, before they’ve ever seen you.

Your résumé usually decides whether or not an employer will call you to set up an interview. They’re not obsolete. Take the time to learn how to create a good one. Use the internet. Ask a school counselor. Find a good template and start plugging away – and make sure its relevant to the position in which you’re applying.

MAKE EYE CONTACT.

Nothing is more evident to the interviewer than when you don’t want to be there. Be yourself, have a conversation and look her in the eyes. If you don’t make eye contact, you look distracted – uninterested. Relax, focus and smile.

DON’T ASK ABOUT THE PAY ON THE FIRST INTERVIEW.

This is unprofessional and looks like you’re intentions are impure. The purpose of the first interview is to determine if you are right for the position, and if the position is right for you. Once the employer decides you are a good fit, he will meet with you to discuss incidentals. This is the appropriate time to discuss pay rates and make your final decision as to whether you’d like to accept the job offer.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

How many hours a week do you want to work? What days are you available? Can you work weekends? What is your desired salary? Know what you want and know what you’re worth, but be willing to be flexible at the same time. Don’t settle for anything less than your bottom line, but know that everyone starts somewhere and climbs her way up the ladder. Good luck!

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