There is a great deal of information out there on how to interview for a job. Some of it is very specific, such as how to employ insights from psychology to make a good impression. But no matter how arcane the advice may be, it all rests on a foundation of some basic things every job candidate needs to do if he or she wants to be successful.

Here is a brief review of those basics to make sure you don’t forget about them during your next job interview.

1. Preparation
This is something everyone should be aware of. You cannot go to an interview without knowing about the company, what it does, how it operates, its financial situation, its mission and values. With so much information online, there really is no excuse not to know these things.

You also need to prepare for interview questions you are likely to be asked. There are some questions that are fairly common at job interviews, so you should be ready for them and have a strategy for answering them. Some examples of these questions are why you want to work at the company, your strengths and weaknesses, where you want to be in five or ten years, and telling the hiring manager about yourself.

When you respond, you should be able to use facts and figures to support your assertions. This will carry more weight. Focus on using the words “I” and “me.” This is how exceptional performers speak.

2. Body language
This is something that does not receive enough attention for job interviews. But good body language is essential. It often makes a more powerful impression than words. Hiring managers will certainly notice it. You want to give an impression of confidence and enthusiasm by how you move and act. For example, walk with your shoulders back, look the hiring manager in the eye when talking to him, shake hands firmly, and smile.

Face the interviewer directly when you talk. Sit upright but not too stiffly. Gesture with your hands occasionally. But avoid things that reveal insecurity or nervousness, such as foot or finger tapping, or looking down at the floor.

3. Dress
For most job interviews, the appropriate dress is still a suit and tie for men and a business suit for women. You should also be well groomed. Also, make sure to bring extra copies of your resume with you to the interview. Make sure to turn your cell phone off. And arrive for the interview about 10 to 15 minutes early.

4. Questions
You should have questions for the hiring manager. You will severely hurt your chances of landing the job if you do not. If you have no questions, the hiring manager may think you are not that interested in the position. Have some prepared when you go into the interview.

5. Follow up note
Don’t forget this. It is also important. Immediately after the interview send a note of thanks to the hiring manager. You can again state your interest in the job.

Most people send an email these days, so if you really want to stand out, you can send a handwritten note on good stationary. Odds are you will be the only one doing it.

If you are looking for work in the New York City area, a good place to start is Winston Resources. We can work with you and help you through the arduous job search process, providing support and guidance, and finding the right job for you. Give us a call today.

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