How to Act on a Job Interview

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Once you get your foot in the door with an impressive resume and qualifications, complete your bid for a new job by doing just as well on the interview. Learn how to conduct yourself intelligently and professionally to keep a simple misstep from spoiling the opportunity.

  • Demonstrate your professionalism by arriving early, dressing appropriately and having all of your materials (such as your resume and letters of recommendation) ready to hand the interviewer as soon as the meeting begins.

  • Express your interest in the company and your eagerness to start the job. Brush up on industry terminology and the history of the company so you'll be able to contribute to the conversation. Mention any changes you're willing to make such as relocating to another state or working a graveyard shift.

  • Steer clear of any signs that might indicate that you're not serious about getting the job. Try not to check your watch or glance around the room, for example. Eliminate distractions (leave your cell phone in the car, for example) so you'll be able to concentrate fully on the interview.

  • Display your sense of humor when appropriate, but stay away from sarcastic, off-color or potentially offensive jokes even if your interviewer seems like the type to appreciate them. You never know what the true climate of the office is and they may be recording your interview for other bosses to review.

  • Appear confident and in control at all times. Practice answering questions with family members or try a virtual interview online. Have explanations ready if you recently lost or left a job. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer ahead of time so you won't prolong the interview unnecessarily (see Resources).

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