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| Education and Financial

01/04/14

Job Marketing: How to sell yourself at an interview

The process of applying and interviewing for a job is a two fold affair, and often the former is deemed the more difficult of the two aspects of pursuing the perfect career.
But if you're of the opinion that the interview is easier than the resume, you're just dreaming.
Of course, it's easy to pinpoint the actual application, cover letter and work history and resume as the more laborious and frustrating part simply because most of it is done online. Rarely do you actually get to speak to the person perusing your resume, and that hiring manager, if you're lucky, gives your resume more than 10 seconds of their full attention.
They scan for key words, phrases and qualifications and then toss your entire work history into one of two piles: yes or no. If you fall into the former category, the next step is tackling the actual interview. The key moving forward as far as the interview itself is to not let your guard down. A good portion of candidates assume they've pushed through the glass ceiling known as the resume sorting process and the initial interview process feels more like formality than frantic.
Feeling that you're in the clear simply because you can actually talk to someone is bravado that could cost you dearly. Some would argue that the real interview process begins before you say a word but almost as soon as you walk through the door.

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And it's paramount that walking through that door for the interview is a timely entrance. Being late to an interview puts you behind that proverbial eight ball before you even utter a sentence. That suggests to an interviewer or hiring manager that if you can't bother to show up on time for the interview, what makes your first, or subsequent days, of work any different?
As far as your attire, you want to make sure you dress accordingly but also based on the job you're interviewing for on that day. If you're looking for a maintenance job, a full suit probably is a bit much, when a nice pair of jeans, a sweater or dress shirt and nice shoes would suffice. The flip side is if you're interviewing for an executive or sales position and you show up dressed like you're working on a fishing boat. That won't cut it, either.
Shoes often is where the interviewer's eyes settle, regardless of the position. Clean shoes are an indication of not only cleanliness but that you're attention to detail and organizational skills are just as impeccable as your footwear.
Now that you're dressed and ready to answer your first question, make sure you speak clearly, slowly and that you're eye contact and gesturing is proper. Don't move around incessantly in your chair or stare through the person you're speaking with, but rather make eye contact when necessary.
And when you're having that casual and professional conversation, please know what you're talking about first and foremost. You should know plenty about the company and be prepared to not only reference that information but also ask appropriate questions about not only the position but the organization as a whole.
Taking an interest in the job and company puts you at the top of any company's list and easily turns that dream job closer to reality.

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