5 Helpful Rules to Successful Job Interviewing

Getting a job these days is a job in itself. With so many people out-of-work or downsized for some reason, every job opening is a hot spot where as many as several hundred applicants may gather.

How can you stand out in an interview situation like that? Here are five helpful rules to successful job interviewing:

1. Do your homework

To be fully prepared for the job interview you will need to do your homework. These days that means all sorts of interview preparation. To start you off you might show interest in a company that is hiring by researching the company. Some job interview tips suggest you do this after you have been asked to the interview. I disagree. I think it is important to look at the company before you even send them your resume.

Why? Because you might find that your skills wouldn't be a good fit or you might discover that several of your skills would make you an excellent candidate as you examine the company. You will know just which of your skills to showcase when you adjust your resume for that individual company.

2. Request an informational interview

The next step might be to request an informational interview with someone working at the job or area you are interested in. Decide what information you want to know that was not included on the company's website. Choose a person you want to interview and how to contact that person. You can request an interview over the phone, in person, by letter or by a social contact in your network. Phone interviews should be no longer than 5 minutes and in-person ones from 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Practice answering questions in mock interviews

After you have sent in your resume and you are asked to come for the actual interview, you still have much preparation to make. Most employers ask the same basic questions with very definite reasons behind them. Until you are able to leave the impression of self-assuredness, you need to practice answering the questions in mock interviews.

4. Be prepared to ask your own questions

The person who is being interviewed is entitled to ask a question for every question he or she is asked. For example, after saying why you think your skills would be useful to the company, you can ask something like, "do you see how my skill set would benefit your company?"

5. Write a thank you note and do your follow-up via a phone call

At the end of the job interview ask if you can contact the interviewer in one week to see how the job search is going. Remember to collect business cards from everyone who might be at the interview and write thank you notes within 24 hours of the interview.

These five helpful rules to job interviewing will help you stand out from the crowd. For information on interview questions and why the interviewer asks them, you might want to look at some resources available on the internet, such as self-help books.

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