Tips on How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/13/2013 | 09:30 AM EST

Check out these four tips that could lead you to your dream job

Landing that coveted job is crucial. Getting it, however, takes a lot of skill and preparation. Whether you’re changing career moves or simply trying to rise the corporate ladder, how you prepare for that desired position falls on you and your ability to effectively convince an employer that you’re not only qualified, but the best person for the job.

Here are a few useful tips that could lead you to your next dream job.

Look the Part - Looking good is just as important as looking good on paper. First impressions are everything, and while an employer shouldn’t base their decision on looks, it would be naive to think that how you look doesn’t play some role - at least when it comes to dress. Be sure to avoid loud or distracting colors like orange or neon green. Neutral colors win every time. If you want to show a little personality, go for it, just don’t over do it. For men, make sure your tie is tied properly, and ladies in skirts always wear stockings. You can still be conservative and stylish at the same time.

Do Your Research - While this may seem like common sense to many, you’d be surprised by how many applicants fail to follow this golden rule: do your research. As a potential employer of the company you’re interviewing for, you’re expected not only to represent it well but know your history of the company, including a little back information about the company’s top executives, and preferably the person who will be interviewing you. Doing this also gives you a conversational piece to engage your interviewer. Additionally, feeling like you know enough about the company gives you an extra boost of confidence, which makes a huge difference in the interviewing room.

Mock Interviews - The best way to prepare for an interview is to actually practice. Get a friend to mock interview you so that you’re not blindsided by anything during the actual interview. You can draft questions yourself and encourage your friend to add a few of his or her own. This is particularly useful for those who get nervous during interviews.

Thank You Notes - While this has nothing to do with the interview itself, sending a thank you note to your interviewer is a courteous gesture that not only lets the person know that you appreciate their time and the consideration for the job, but also helps them remember you (assuming they interviewed several people for the position). While most people generally send emails, you can take it a step further by sending the letter snail mail. Be advised that timing is everything. Generally, you’d want to send it within 24 hours.

 (Photo: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images)

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