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Conquering Interview Jitters

Q: Next week Iím starting the interviewing process for my dream job. While I know Iím qualified, Iím afraid Iíll say or do something that will take me out of the running. How can I put my best foot forward when Iím feeling so stressed?

Few situations in life are more anxiety producing than interviewing for a new position. So much rides on the outcome: money, opportunity, self-esteem. Yet there are ways to calm yourself and use your excess mental energy to your advantage. Just think preparation.

Before your interview find out as much as you can about the job and its compensation package. Then youíll be able to speak intelligently about how your experience, skills and personality are a good match for what the employer is seeking.

Knowing what the position pays in advance can also save you tremendous angst. Usually getting the job description and compensation is easy. Just ask for it when you set the appointment. Employers donít want to waste their time interviewing someone who is out of the pay range or unqualified for the position.

Use the internet to get some information on the company. You need to know if the organization is one youíll be proud to represent. And when you refer to its products, services, mission and direction during the interview, youíre bound to impress your interviewer.

Carefully consider why you are the best candidate for the job. Practice saying how your background and talents match with what the employer needs. This may seem a little silly, but youíll find it much easier to talk about yourself when your brain has already worn a little path through the appropriate synapses.

Also be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses and why you want the position. Donít play it cool. Employers want people on board who are excited about working for them. Channel your jitters into enthusiasm for the job. Youíll find your attitude is contagious.

Make your own list of questions. Interesting questions reveal their authorís excellent grasp of the subject, while simultaneously offering the interviewer a chance to expound upon his knowledge and opinions. Good questions are often more impressive than good responses.

Remember you arenít the only nervous one at the interview. Your potential employer is probably worried about the process and outcome of your conversation, too. Concentrate on making her comfortable and youíll focus much less on your own inadequacies.


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