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October 16, 2017

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The Job Interview: A New Look For the New Year

It's that time of year again—the opportunity to start fresh as you plan for the job interview that's coming your way in 2015.

Being invited for an interview is a good sign. It means you've said something in your cover letter or resume that prompted the employer to call you. So rather than letting worry or fear drive you, focus on the positive aspects of a job interview and look at the experience in a new way for this new year.

• The hiring manager is a human being—just like you.

He or she probably has a family, hobbies, problems, and interests, as you do. Meet and greet the person with a firm handshake, a friendly smile, and eye-to-eye contact. People can tell immediately if you're sincere or merely going through the motions. Are you sincere and friendly or a character in a story? Make this opportunity count for you and for the other person.

• Present a professional appearance so you will create a favorable impression.

Dress appropriately for a job interview. A suit or sport coat and slacks and polished shoes for men work best. A dress or jacket and skirt or pants for a woman are perfect. Avoid spike heels that might cause you to slip or fall. Press your clothes the night before and choose accessories that are simple and tasteful. Avoid flashy jewelry, dangling earrings, gaudy belt buckles and so on. You'll want the hiring manager to look at you, not your accessories.

• Be prepared to show the employer that you're the ideal candidate for the job.

Mention practical and specific examples of your talent, skills, and experience. Avoid talking in generalities about your character traits (leader, problem solver, and decision maker, and team player). Instead illustrate those attributes by sharing a 'true story' from your education or work life that shows your ability to lead or solve a problem.

For example, did you step up and resolve a crisis or settle a conflict between two employees or make a spontaneous decision that determined an essential outcome? A word picture will help the hiring manager envision what happened.

• End the interview with a sincere 'thank you' and follow up with a written note of gratitude.

People who remember to express their honest appreciation are rarely forgotten. The road that leads you from job interview to job placement intersects with honesty and gratitude. Don't miss it!

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...


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