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How To Make Your Job Interview 'Work' For You

Instead of you doing all the work to make your job search interview successful, consider sharing the responsibility. Put your job interview to work for you. Lay the foundation with the following six steps and then watch your interview take it from there. It will work for you without effort or worry.

Step #1: Arrive early—not merely on time. Allow time for unexpected traffic snarls, a coffee break, and a restroom stop. Use a navigation system or print out directions from the Internet so you will not risk a late arrival.

Step #2: Empty your pockets ahead of time. No one likes to speak with someone who is fiddling with keys or coins in his pocket at the same time. Place your jingly items in your purse or briefcase until after the interview.

Step #3: Leave cigarettes and chewing gum at home or in your car. Your interview can only work for you if you rid yourself of any distractions. Be ready to focus your attention on the interviewer and his or her questions. If you experience dry mouth while speaking, sip a glass of water.

Step #4: Avoid expectations. It can be tempting to think about the future when sitting in the interviewee seat. Will the hiring manager like you? Is he or she considering you for the job? Do you look okay? Did you forget anything important? Such thoughts will keep you from living in the moment. So put your interview to work for you by focusing on what is right in front of you—the opportunity to make a lasting good impression on the person you hope will offer you the job.

Step #5: Be ready. Come prepared to talk about the job and your qualifications, as well as your previous work experience and your skills that are transferable to the new position. Ask questions. Find out what you need to know in order to make an honest decision about whether or not this company is a good fit for you.

Step #6: Believe the best. Arrive at the interview with a winning attitude. Whether or not you are hired give your best. At some point you will land the position that's right for you. In the meantime, you'll be practicing your communication skills and presenting your true self to a decision-maker. Step up to the opportunity to make your interview work for you.

Jimmy Sweeney is president of CareerJimmy and creator of the brand new, "Job Interview Secret Document." Jimmy is the author of "Tough Times Job Tips" and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."
On your very next job interview, the moment you walk in the door, simply hand your customized "Secret Career Document" to the person conducting the interview and let the magic begin...