We have all deliberated at some point in our lives as to how to face an interview. In addition, we are very aware of the fact that in such an economic downturn that question requires a more thorough thought process. An abundance of highly qualified applicants are all seeking to secure the very few positions that are currently on the market. There is no longer such a thing as job security.

Going on a job interview can very nerve racking if you're not properly prepared or sure how to effectively market your background and skill set. You only get one chance to make a first impression. How to face an interview has essentially become the ultimate million dollar question.

Whether you're seeking your first corporate position, looking to "make a move", or even change your career path, consider the following:

  • Write an attention-grabbing resume
  • Gather the references that will best serve you in your job search
  • Interview with the confidence you need while making that all-important "impression"
  • Determine if your career goals are worthy of your skill set
  • Leverage your strengths and ask for an offer
General Suggesstions:

It may sound cliché but you'd be surprised how often it happens. Ask for directions, reconfirm the date and time of your appointment, plan for traffic, parking and possibly getting lost. Arriving late not only makes a bad impression, it prevents from having a few extra minutes to relax and collect your thoughts.

Again, what sounds cliché is so important in making a first impression. Dress to what is appropriate for the job, company and industry culture. Avoid heavy makeup, perfume or cologne.

Get your resume and cover letter written by professionals which will be more enticing to the eye and "reader-friendly" to hiring managers.

While your resume explains your skills and experience, the personal introduction you make of yourself is equally, if not more important. Be confident! Start with a firm handshake, a smile and look the interviewer in the eye. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself but remember - Be concise! Listen attentively, don't interrupt and be sure to answer the question.

Find out as much as you can about the position and the company's philosophy. Relate that with specific examples to your own work experience. Focus on results. Share your knowledge of the industry, whether it's personal contacts or knowledge of the latest news in the field.

It's important to remember that while you're the one being interviewed, an interview is also your opportunity to find out if the job or company is right for you, too. Ask relevant questions regarding the company and position, what the responsibilities are, management practices, etc. Don't bring up salary information in the first interview unless you are specifically asked. Don't ask about vacation time or personal days, etc.

A company may wish to meet you for the first time over the telephone. This type of interview is just as important as a personal interview, if not more important, because if it doesn't go well, you won't get a chance to meet face-to-face with the company. Try to find a quiet place where you can speak freely and without interruption. Don't interrupt for call waiting! Speak directly into the phone. Don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink anything during your phone interview. If the interview is coming to a close and the employer has not scheduled a personal meeting, ask politely "What is the next step?" or "Where do we go from here?" Send a thank you note.

Be enthusiastic, confident and build your case. Start by briefly introducing yourself and your background, link your abilities with the company's needs, and let them know how interested you are in the position.

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