Surviving the Job Interview

You may have gone through every step of preparing to land a good job with confidence, by gaining experience, honing your education, and writing a good, solid resume. Once those efforts start to pay off and you get a call for an interview with a potential employer, you may find yourself struck with a bad case of nervousness. This problem is common and, fortunately, it's one that's all in your head - there's nothing about a job interview you should be nervous about, if you're confident and secure.

Practicing interviews goes a long way to giving yourself self-confidence. With the help of friends or family, you can prepare yourself to answer questions without hesitation and try a few different answers to choose the one that sounds best. Rehearsal is important for making sure you look confident to potential employers. You can also use a mirror to see how your face and eyes display a look of either nerves or confidence, and work on eliminating small details that will give an impression of self-doubt. Once you enter the interview and finally meet your potential employer, use a firm handshake and a smile, keep yourself from looking down at the floor, and definitely try not to shift too much from nerves. Honesty is the best policy during a job interview.

If you're caught lying, you've guaranteed that you'll be out of the race for the job. Still, if you have any blemishes on your work, education, or personal history, consider how you'll answer related questions about those issues. Glossing over past mistakes leaves the wrong impression, though the way you word your answers can soften the blow of any errors you've made at previous employments. On the other hand, it helps to know your rights as a job applicant. There are some questions that you legally don't have to answer and can't be looked down on for refusal to answer.

There are also questions that your interviewer can't legally ask. Although belligerence won't help your case, it's always a good thing to know your rights. Whatever answers you give your potential employer, say them with confidence, even if it's explaining why you had a massive gap in your work history or confessing that you don't currently have any career goals beyond the job you're applying for. There's plenty of information to be found on preparing your appearance for the interview.

Most of it is simple common sense. A business suit or a tasteful blouse and pants, with a clean, neat appearance complete with personal hygiene is all you really need to know about how to look for an interview. As with your responses, an appearance of professionalism will go a long way towards getting you the job you want. A smart thing to do in your interview, just as you feel it's starting to wind down, is to ask your employer a few questions about the position you're applying for or the company itself. Asking questions shows you've done your homework and have a serious interest in the place you'll be working. Questions also show your potential employer that you have dedication and the forethought to be careful about decisions, which can go a long way in their impression of you.

John Edmond owns and writes regularly for Careerbuilder Jobs where you can find more information and advice on all aspects of job finding and succeeding at the interview.

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