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The recipe for a successful job interview is all in the details

Think Positive: As soon as you submit a resume or application for a position, be sure to place a pad with a list of the companies and positions to which you have applied and pencil by the phone. When you receive that call from the company, your nerves will be running high and this is not a time to depend on memory (especially if you have applied for more than one job) Jot down the details of the scheduled interview under the proper company heading including date, time, place, and the name and title of the person with whom you will be interviewing. This will avoid you having to remember these details later. If unsure of directions to the company, consult a map to get directions and to estimate driving or bus commuting time.

Be extra prepared : Plan your outfit ahead of time. Have a spare shirt or blouse and a pair of hose handy in case last minute jitters cause you to spill coffee on yourself or your cat mistakes your leg for a scratching post as you are heading out the door.

Dress for success and especially comfort: Dressing to impress does not mean torturing yourself. Stick to simple lines, breathable fabrics in classic conservative colors. Do not try to wear four inch heels to an interview if you have always embraced flats or buy a new pair that you will have to “break in” the day of the interview. Buff up your best dressy flats or men can have their best shoes shined and resoled ahead of time so that you can present a polished yet easygoing look.

Set a back up alarm and plan to arrive at least five minutes early: Some people suffer from insomnia the night before an interview. Setting a back up alarm will insure that you will make the interview with a few minutes to spare to “pull yourself together” in those final moments in the lobby. If you have been to the company before, scope out where the rest rooms and water fountains are located.

Breathe and Smile: Don’t forget to relax and smile. People like happy people and smilers look like winners, so feel free to smile pleasantly at the appropriate times. Remember that the person interviewing you may be nervous about making an impression on YOU, so relieving the tension is in both your interests. Body language is important, take cues from the interviewer as to when to sit, lean forward, lean back, shake hands. Think of it as a dance and let the interviewer lead and you follow along.

Say thank you: Follow up your interview with a thank you letter or email. Emails and letters do not require responses so this will not put the interviewer on the spot or make you seem pushy as a follow up phone call might. Be sure to include in your letter highlights from the interview, restate your enthusiasm and why you feel (more than ever) that you would be an asset to the company.

Accentuate the positive regardless of the outcome: If you get the job, use the above suggestions in this article for the first day or week till you feel on track. If, for some reason, you are not selected for that position think of it as a chance to practice your interview skills. Keep yourself “out there” don’t run back to watching soap operas in real time because this one job did not pan out. Get back on your bike (car or bus) and ride to your next interview, and don’t forget the directions.