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May 11, 2015

7 Ways To Be Amazing In Any Job Interview

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Ways To Be Amazing In Any Job Interview

Jamie Kenney, Writer for Bustle Online

So, you're among the 5.5% of Americans currently unemployed or underemployed. Or maybe you're a college student about to graduate and enter the workforce. Or perhaps you just hate your current job and need to find something less soul crushing. Whatever the reason for your job search, the result is the same: You're going to have to master The Art of the Interview.

Here are 7 ways to be amazing at any job interview.

1. Educate yourself about the company

This is, by far, what I found to be most lacking in every candidate I've ever interviewed, no matter the position. While you may be quick on your feet in answering personal questions you had not anticipated, you likely won't be able to do that in answering questions about the company (and any interviewer worth her salt is going to ask about the company). If you attempt it, you may wind up looking like an idiot, and moreover, an under-prepared idiot. Conversely, if you sprinkle in knowledge of the company in answering personal questions, you look like a put together whiz who is super serious about landing the job. A great way to get educated about a company (aside from going over their website and doing some Googling) is to set up a Google alert, which will keep you informed about the most up-to-date information.

2. Social Media: Lock It Down

The only social media your potential employer should be able to see is your LinkedIn account (and that should be up to date). Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and whatever new social networks people are doing these days should be set to private. It's absolutely not unusual or out of bounds for a potential employer to do a basic Google search after an interview. It's better to let them get to know you before they learn how good you are at beer pong.

3. Show Up On Time

It makes such a bad impression if you show up late for an interview. It also makes a bad impression if you show up more than 10 minutes early. This interview may be the most important or even only thing you're doing all day, but your interviewer likely has a very busy schedule. Having you hanging about the office, just waiting for them, is not only awkward, but potentially an added stressor; be respectful of their time.

4. Be Nice To The Receptionist, Security Guard, or Maintenance Staff

You want to make a good first impression - on everyone. It's generally a pretty good idea (and good manners) to be kind and respectful of people, but from a self-serving standpoint, everyone you encounter in the office could not only be a future co-worker, but could be friends with the person you're interviewing. So if you're a jerk to the receptionist, she could go into your interviewer's office later and talk about how you didn't make eye contact with her and completely ignored her when she tried to engage you in small talk.

5. Ask Questions

As they say on Sesame Street, "Asking questions is a good way of finding things out!" It also makes you look thoughtful and serious about the position. See if you can't come up with your own questions based on the job description or institution. Remember that it's helpful to ask questions not only about the job and the company, but also the team you'll be working with and about the company culture.

6. Write A Thank You Note

Follow-up is important. It serves as good manners, a friendly reminder, and a great way to add in any extra selling points you'd forgotten while in the interview. You can do this with a hand-written note via mail, but this can be done by e-mail as well.

7. Don't say your biggest flaw is that you're a perfectionist

At best, this answer will make you sound unoriginal. At worst, it will make you sound arrogant, unoriginal, annoying, and dishonest to boot. There is really no way you can answer this question without showing your lack self-awareness one way or the other. When employers ask, "What is your greatest weakness?", the best way to answer is to demonstrate how you have overcome a challenge in the past.

Jamie Kenney is a writer for Bustle Onlne, a new force in media that delivers everything you want to know, see, and read - right now - whether you're starting your work day, taking a study break, waiting for a flight, preparing a bottle for your kid, or doing something else entirely. You can follow Bustle on Twitter at @bustle, or visit their website here.

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