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January is the month more Americans begin searching for a new job, and maybe you're in that mode yourself.

Maybe it was your choice that you left your most recent job or the company "down-sized" and gave you the old "your services are no longer required" and "we wish you the best in your next endeavors" speech, but either way, you've found yourself applying for a new position.

In all likelihood, you were asked to complete a job application online. You've done that. You did a pretty good job on your resume' and submitted that. And apparently you did well enough of that resume' that you've been called in for an interview.

This is the "make or break" for a lot of candidates and presenting yourself as a great addition to the team and a good investment to the employer is paramount to securing the position.

I checked indeed.com and found they had some pretty sage advice about the entire interview process.

They list things like:

  • Interview Preparation - Don't wait until the morning of the interview to begin preparing.  I couldn't agree more. If this job is important, it's certainly worth some time researching the company. Get some background on their origins. And list what you consider to be their mission and goals. Be able to demonstrate how you can help them achieve those goals. That makes you an investment worth taking.
  • Appearance - Indeed says: Don't show up wearing bold clothing or strong perfume as they can be distracting. I think this falls a little short of the mark, so I'm thinking we should add, Don't show up disheveled and looking like this interview was any less important than it really is. I've always believed that you "dress for success." Look well rested, prepared and though I'm not suggesting you wear your Sunday's best, that would certainly be more effective than shorts and flip flops.
  • Questions About Your Former Employers - Indeed says, Don't use negative language. Bulls eye on this one, in my opinion. The last thing the interviewer wants is for you to start airing your grievances about your previous employer(s). Try to answer with the positive experiences you've had with those people. "I learned so much" or "They have such a talented staff" are great examples.
  • Questions For the Interviewer - Once again, I completely concur with Indeed, when they say "Be sure that the questions you ask show you are well-informed about the employer."  This is especially true when the interviewer is also the owner of the business. They want to hear you brag on their company. Remember, this is their baby! But conversely, Don't sound you're trying to blow smoke up their dress. They obviously have a need or they wouldn't be hiring. Prepare to demonstrate how you are the best choice to fill that need, without sounding egotistical.
  • Ask For The Job - Okay, this is one that Indeed doesn't list, but I honestly believe it could be one of the most important aspects of the entire interview. Don't make the mistake of assuming they know you want the job. I've heard salespeople for years who gave all the benefits of whatever widget they were selling, but they never asked for the sale. They never closed the deal. Let the interviewer know that you truly want this position, that you are qualified for the position, and when you are able to report for duty.

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