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Ten ways to top a job interview

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MANY PEOPLE dread job interviews. The interview is basically an opportunity for the potential employer to get to know you and for you to convince them that you can do the job and you are the best person to fill the position… Here are 10 tips to help you ace your next job interview.{{more}}

1. Take three copies of your resumé and three copies of your list of references, unfolded, in a clean, new folder or large envelope…. If you are not asked for them during the interview, offer one of each at the end.

2. Go into the interview alone…. Do not take a friend or relative or have anyone meet you after the interview within the interview area.

3. Arrive on time…. It’s okay to arrive about 5-10 minutes early, but NEVER arrive late…. Arriving more than 10-15 minutes early can be an inconvenience to the interviewer.

4. Dress professionally…. Wear clean business attire and be well groomed.

5. Turn off your cell phone…. You want to make a good first impression and a ringing phone will not make you look important.

6. Remain calm and relaxed…. You probably will be nervous, but try to breathe slowly and think about how you answer each question.

7. Avoid fidgeting. It’s a distracting and makes you appear less confident.

8. Address the interviewer by name…. Unless given permission to use a person’s first name, be respectful and use a title (Mr or Mrs, Ms) and last name when addressing them.

9. Have at least three prepared questions…. As the interview draws to a close, the interviewer will probably ask you if you have any questions…. Never say “No, I do not have any questions.”… Some examples might be, “What is your dress code for my job?” ”What kind of training and orientation do you provide?” What do you think is the most important factor for me to do a good job for you?”

10. Send a thank you note…. Within one week of the interview, write a note saying thanks for taking the time to meet with you; include your contact information.

Bonus: Answer questions honestly…. Lying or exaggerating when answering questions will only reflect badly on your character, especially if your references say something differently, or if you are hired and the interviewer finds out later.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.”

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