Acing the Interview

Best ways to prepare for the big day

successbusinessWith thousands of Americans looking for work these days, knowing how to prepare for a potential job interview is as important as ever.

Let’s say you’ve created an impeccable resume and cover letter and voila, you’ve been invited to an interview for a position of your dreams. But what do you do now, how should you prepare?

Although the preparation for an interview is just as important as the actual interview itself, it’s not always given the same time and care. Your prep work will enable you to present yourself with confidence. It could also mean the difference between landing the position and being rejected.

Here are four pre-interview tips that will help on your big day:

Online Presence

Be particularly diligent in making sure that the virtual you is as professional and polished as the person who walks in for the interview. Increasingly, more employers are beginning to research the online presence of potential candidates, including social networking profiles. This gives them an opportunity to make a judgment or form an opinion before you even walk in the door. It also could shatter an image of what was already presented in an interview for those employers who look you up online after meeting you.

Marlon Cousin, an interview guru and managing partner at the Marquin Group, says, “If it can’t be on the front page of the New York Times, don’t do it.”

Attire

Given that first impressions are very important, what you wear plays a critical role in how you are perceived. You wouldn’t want to ruin an opportunity to make the right impression by wearing the wrong clothing.

First, it’s important to know the dress culture for your industry and the company. A suit is always appropriate and is a sign of respect, but if you are interviewing at a company where employees are casual in their dress, a blazer and slacks for a man may be more appropriate.

A blazer with a skirt, dress or slacks can offer a polished look for a woman. A good rule of thumb is to dress two levels above how you think company employees dress and always lean on the conservative side. If you are unsure, ask a member from the human resources team about what is acceptable to wear.

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