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Seven "To Do’s and NOT to Do's" for improving Your Interviewing Skills

Job interviews are nerve-wracking, right? You have to sell yourself to a complete stranger, then hope that they see enough potential in you to shortlist you. It's no wonder that many people freeze up during interviews or worse yet, end up saying things that they later regret. If you're dreading your next job interview, fear not my friend! Here are seven easy steps that can take you to a whole new level!

1. Interview Preparation

· Know what you're going to say ahead of time. One of the worst things that you can do during an interview is to try to wing it. This will only make you more nervous and increase the likelihood of you saying something potentially harmful to your candidacy.

· Map location, address/suite number and parking instructions

· Allow time for restroom visits and checking in with Security

2. Dress for Success

· Your appearance is important. Even if the company has a casual dress code, dressing up shows that you take the interview—and the job—seriously. It also makes you feel more confident, which will come through in your demeanor during the interview itself. Not sure what to wear? Play it safe with a suit or professional wear.

3. Research

· Want to dazzle the interviewer? Do your research on their company ahead of time so you can speak knowledgeably about their products and services, how long have they been in business and who are their clients and competitors. This shows that you're truly interested in the opportunity. The internet makes it easy to find this information, so there's no excuse for not being prepared!

4. It's not all about you…or is it?

· Your body language speaks volumes about how comfortable and confident you feel. Sit up straight, avoid fidgeting, gum chewing, crossing your arms, or slouching—all are major no-no’s

· Keep your eye on the prize…maintain eye contact

· Show your pearlies…Keep a friendly smile, firm handshake with confidence and be polite

· Don’t sell yourself short…prepare those key points you want them to know about you

· Be confident…(but please, if you have an obnoxious rock star mentality…leave it at the door)

· Showcase your skills and the value you bring to the table

· Use positive words about yourself; Motivated, Leader, Results-oriented…you get it

5. Listen more than you talk

· Ramble much? One common mistake that candidates make is talking too much during interviews. It's important to answer questions fully, but don't go off on tangents or monopolize the conversation. Remember, an interview is a two-way street—you should be trying to get to know your potential employer as much as they're trying to get to know you

6. Wrap it up

· Make sure to summarize your strengths and express your sincere interest

· Never leave without asking the interviewer questions

· CHA CHING or not to CHA CHING…Leave the salary questions for the 2nd interview

· Ask when you should expect to hear from them and thank them…Think Namaste

7. Follow-up…makes a huge difference

· Send that all-important thank you note post interview

· Let them know you are available if they need further information

Acing a job interview isn't easy, but it is possible with a little preparation and practice. By following these simple steps, you can boost your odds of impressing potential employers and landing the job of your dreams. Good luck!

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