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Interview Techniques

If your resume opens the door to a new employer, the interviewing process is the threshold you must cross to gain entry. Most companies interview more than once these days, and it's important to know what to say at each stage.

APPEARANCE MATTERS:
Dress the part. Even though companies may have relaxed dress codes, you want to make sure you make a good impression. If you're in doubt about what to wear, call them to find out. Most of the time, you'll want to be somewhat better dressed than the average employee in your desired role.

BE PREPARED:
Do your homework on the company. Know their business and their needs, and be prepared to illustrate how you feel you fit into their framework. All employers like the "plug and play" employee.

THE MONEY QUESTION, PART 1:
Unless you know for fact that there will only be one interview, don't ask about money or benefits in the first interview. This can taint the interviewer's impression of you. Obviously, this tip is moot if the interviewer mentions it.

DON'T PANIC:
There are many different types of interviews, and some seem to naturally inspire trepidation. Multiple interviewers belong to this group. It's easy, and perfectly normal, to get the feeling that they are "ganging up" on you. However, do not let this feeling conquer you. You need to maintain your composure and get through the interview with a calm, natural demeanor.

ASK QUESTIONS:
Most interviewers typically ask if you have questions. Most interviewees respond with, "no, I believe you've covered everything." This is not necessarily the best answer. Ask some questions about the business, the competitive environment, the management style, and the goals of the company. The idea is to show your interest in the company. When asking these questions, avoid grilling the interviewer: If they're uncomfortable, it's a safe bet you'll be uncomfortable.

THE MONEY QUESTION, PART 2 :
Interviewers will often ask how much you are currently making. If you are currently underpaid, this can be an uncomfortable question. Keep the interviewer focused on what you are worth because of your experience, education and skills today. It's okay to mention that you are underpaid, but place it in a positive light. Mention why you took a job at a lower rate of pay, such as to gain valuable experience or to have opportunities to grow. Keep all of your remarks positive.

While these tips are no guarantee, they will help you on your way to securing that dream job!

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