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So you’ve done some job searching, you’ve found a few businesses that appeal to you, and you’ve filled out some applications.  You may have sent in a resume and cover letter too.  For all of your efforts, an employer has contacted you and would like for you to come in for an interview.  This is where most people freak out or at least get a little nervous.  However, I would like to give you a few tips to make your interview successful!
 Successful interview tips Step 1 Preparation
First of all, preparation makes all the difference in the world. Going into an interview unprepared is like diving into a pool without knowing how to swim. You can sink fast. So taking a little time to prepare will boost your confidence and make you stand out as a more worthy candidate to the employer. 

Do some research.

Know what the product is and/or what products this business uses or promotes.
Find out a little about their history.
Research future plans for this business. Are they opening an office in Costa Rica? Maybe you’d like to work there!
What is the average salary for this position?

Know the exact time and place for the interview.

Know how long it’s going to take you to get there.
Do a drive-by sometime before if you can (leave the machine gun at home!).  Do not depend on your GPS alone, have backup directions with you just in case. BACK UP! I NEED BACK UP!

Know who you’re going to speak with and their job title.

Get the first and last name. 
Is this person the owner? The manager?

Prepare some questions that you can ask!

Why is the position available?
Future growth plans
Room to move upwards?
Think of questions that weren’t answered through your research.

Be prepared for common interview questions (do some research on these!)

Don’t worry if they ask you for your strong and weak points.

Review this successful interview tips guide before each interview until you know intuitively what to do.

 Successful interview tips Step 2 – The Interview
Ok, so you’ve done all your preparation, and now you’re ready to walk in that office! Still feeling a little nervous? Here are a few more tips for you to make this interview successful:

Dress professionally

You should be there about 15 minutes before the interview
If you no-show without giving them notice, you can pretty much forget that job.

Greet the person by their first name
Use a firm handshake (no dead fish!)
Eye Contact
Listen closely before answering (too many people just wait for their turn to speak)
Take notes
Ask questions
Be honest
Watch your body language, smile! Show some personality! Employers usually do not want someone who is boring or has no personality. Most employers want to know “Is this the kind of person I’d like to work with?”  I’ve even seen some interviews take place in a coffee shop, or during a lunch break.
 If you find yourself getting nervous, use relaxation techniques such as visualization, calming breath (not too obvious though), and remember that the person sitting across from you is just another human being. They may have a great opportunity for you, but they are human!

 Successful interview tips Step 3 – Close and Follow Up
Closing the interview. You will know when the interview is coming to an end. Before you leave, you should consider a few things.

It’s usually not good to focus on money during the interview. Everyone knows you’re there to get paid, but it’s best not to bring it up unless the employer has not made any reference to it whatsoever. If you are going to ask about salary, or if the employer asks you how much you’re expecting, here are a few ways to ask:

How much is the position currently paying?
What was the last person in this position making?
What is the salary range for this position?  (if you’re experience at this position, go for the higher end of that range or above!)

What’s the next step in the hiring process? Ask! You don’t want to leave there wondering if and when they’re going to be calling you.
Thank them for the opportunity with a firm handshake and look them in the eyes.
Follow up with an email or phone call.  In the old days, we used to send a thank you note in the mail! You can still use this technique, but you will have to “read” each person individually to see which method will go over best. Is it a spa? Then maybe they will appreciate a hand-written note or “thank you” card. Is it a call center? Then maybe it’s best to just send an email and follow up with a phone call.  The phone call is very important! Don’t just send an email and think that they got it.  Emails get lost very easily.

These tips will help to make your interview more successful. However, if you did not feel that the interview went well, it’s still a good idea to follow up with the company.  You never know if the interviewer was just having a bad day, or if your perception was just off- maybe they actually really liked you! 
 Don’t stop! Even if things look great with this employer, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Give yourself options.  Interview with as many companies as you feel fit with your goals. Isn’t it better to have a few options than to just jump into one job because you feel you have no other choice? 
Give yourself credit. You are working on making a better life for yourself. Keep moving forward!  “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Please post any comments or questions!
Norm Hanna has helped to place hundreds of people in jobs over the years. He recommends the experts at New Career TeleSummit for FREE information on employment, job hunting, and furthering your career!