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Almost everyone has had a job interview at some point in their lives. Most of these interviews have consisted of retail employment. If you think going to a job interview for a retail job is simple, think again. Retail is one of the most greuling jobs a person can have. One on one contact with the public with no glass window separating the employee from the customers can be stressful enough. What can be more stressful than that? The interview, of course. No matter how much you tell yourself, you know interviews make you a bit nervous, and on a bad day a bit queasy. You think you know all the right moves, you think you know what to say, or what to wear.

In the end you always feel you've either done well or you've made a fool out of yourself. Here's a few words of wisdom to help you.

Always dress presentable for an interview, and I don't mean khakis or shorts. No matter whether the weather is too hot or too cold out always dress like it's a nice spring day outside. A lot of questions will be thrown at you, most of them ridiculous. The best ridiculous question I have been asked at almost every interview, or on any application was, "Why do you want to work for this company?" Yes, it is a bit absurd. The employer doesn't want to hear it's because you love the color of the walls or you have been a collector of the merchandise. Politically correct answers always prevail. If you are one who has no history of college behind you, DO NOT PANIC!!! In some freak instances a retail employer will hire you no matter how much college you have in your educational background. Sometimes they are very desperate for help, or they happen to bleed like the rest of us and are human.

Computers. For some that is a frightening word that perplexes many. You cannot let it do that to you. Some interviews consist of a test on a computer, although some do it by paper or via telephone. Computers can be very indimidating to someone who has not used one or has little experience with one. Just do your best and you will come out on top. Being that I have already mentioned the "test" I shall go one about this little subject that is one of my pet peeves for job interviews. Most employers nowadays will use this specific test as an extension to the interview. The test questions you on either retail itself or on some personal opinions you have. They can be very invasive and make you angry when you hear the questions, they also can be very tricky so read carefully before answering any. One of my favorite questions came from an automated telephone interview at a record store. One of the questions was a true or false question, "You have more than one thumb on each hand." This is no joke, this is the truth.

Resumes. They're not easy, not only to make up but to try and remember your past and put it down on paper? We're all lucky if we can remember what we ate yesterday for lunch! You can get away by having someone else do your resume, or if you have a computer it will already have a program that will style it for you. Don't sweat it, use big words whenever possible. Not only do big words take up a lot of space but they make the resume look more plentiful and make you look like a rocket scientist. Remember this is retail here, not a profession that requires twenty years of education from Harvard.

Always stretch the truth. I don't mean tell them you owned a five star eatery and give the street name and address, I mean make everything sound more exciting that it really is or was. Ok so you worked in retail before. Maybe you didn't like your co-workers very much, but you never got into an argument with any of them. Tell the interviewer you loved your job and the people you worked with. It's not lying really. I mean if you hated your last retail job so much, why would you be applying for another one, so you're not lying. Remember to talk a lot, don't be quiet and shy, that gets you nowhere, and the key word in EVERY interview is "team player". Use those words, they work. The fantasy of the retail business is everyone is a team player, it's not true but use it anyway.

After everything is over you can pretty much tell whether you have the job or not by what the interviewer says to you. "Well we have more applications to look over..." this means you either don't have the job, they're not sure yet, or you've frightened them. If an employer is desperate and really wants help they will hire you on the spot if they like you. No matter what the outcome, always part ways with the interviewer with a handshake and a thank you. After you're out of the store then you can start grumbling about everything, but wait till you've exited the building!

So now, a few days go by, no phone call. A week goes by no phone call. It's now two weeks, time for YOU to call them. Let's face it here. You can't be sitting around waiting for these people to call you, don't let them put a damper on your other job prospects. Always call back if you aren't called within a week. Tell them you had an interview and you're wondering if they're still hiring. If there's any hope you may be called back for a second interview, which is very hopeful. Most likely you'll get the same story they need to look over more people. Don't worry, the more you do these interviews the more likely you will get a great job where you are happy. That is the key, being happy. It's not a perfect world, but hey, if you're going to work five days a week you want to be somewhere you're at least a little happy. I've learned that no matter how good the pay is, if you're not happy there, it's a waste of time. Oh, and before I go, number one rule of an interview: before the interview is over ALWAYS ask how much it pays if they don't mention it first. I don't need to explain why that is important!

So be careful out there, retail isn't easy, nor are the interviews. Keep a positive attitude, I know it's hard. Not everyone is totally happy with their job, but when you find yourself not wanting to go morning after morning you know it's time to leave. So relax, stay focused, and keep going to those interviews. Remember, this is only advice, not a manual, I tend to delve into the lighter side of this, that's about all youc an do because after all, this is life and jobs are our basis to our future.