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Your Personal Jobseeker's Guide

Second Contact
  When someone does get back to you and either wants more information, or is offering an interview, don’t thank your lucky stars, but thank yourself instead because you’re the achiever here. You have got to the second stage and you are going to make it count. This is where you can reinforce the profile you outlined in the initial application, and can add something that makes you a real person rather than a simple statistic. Keep the optimistic attitude going. If you are starting to feel nervous at the prospect of an interview, that’s a sign that you don’t want to mess up; which, in turn, means you really want this job.
  Focus on that. Work on being relaxed and, in particular, yourself. This is the hat you’ll be wearing when you meet the interviewer, so ensure it fits. And make any adjustments you need to now so that you look good in it.

Before The Interview
  If you have sufficient time, do a bit of research into the company and the industry in general. Familiarise yourself with the products or services they provide so that you can answer some of those awkward questions which might pop up unexpectedly. Visit the factory, the store, the workshop, or office, stand outside and watch people coming and going. Get a feel for the place and the types who work there. Do you get the impression that it’s all rush and tear, or does it seem pretty casual? This is what you will have to fit into. You could even have a drink (non-alcoholic for you) and a chat at the local bar or café some of them frequent. Just don’t be too obvious – this is a spying mission!
  Back at home, get ready to do your most important preparations. You will soon be face to face and want to be at your best. For starters, what are you going to wear? Unless you are looking for a spot in a rock band, go with smart. Masses of fashionable creases in your clothes can imply that you aren’t all that particular. And guys, have a shave. Designer-stubble may impress your peers, but if it isn’t in the job description, it will drop you a few places on the list. Sorry to be blunt, but the world we live in isn’t always as cool as we’d like.
  Once you’ve spruced up, take a look in the mirror. This is the person your interviewer will see. If you believe, in your estimation, that you’ve scrubbed up alright, it will boost your confidence. Now let’s deal with who you are inside. Still looking in the mirror, say a few words: "Good afternoon. I’m very pleased to meet you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity." Over-the-top, you reckon. Maybe try: "G’day, mate. How goes it?" The choice is yours. If you’ve done your research properly, you will know what’s likely to be acceptable and what isn’t. All you need to know with this exercise is: did the greeting seem genuine?
  Here’s something that might help. Actors use it to perfect the character they’re portraying. It’s called "baggage". This refers to the real stuff of life – the problems, the sadness, the worries that plague constantly – and it is what we carry around with us. If it suits the part, an actor will draw on it; if not, it is banished and forgotten. This is what you must do. Any negative baggage that is a distraction – leave it behind. You are a cheerful person with a likeable character, and you mean what you say. Keep talking to yourself in the mirror until the words reflect what you see in your face and body language. Once you believe it, so will everyone else.

On The Day
  Punctuality should really speak for itself. Businesses run to the clock. Managers and supervisors need to know that the workers in their section are on the job when they should be. Even employees can get upset if they have to keep covering for someone who never arrives on time. Set the precedent by getting to your interview early. Along with your neat appearance and friendly nature, being on time puts you in front of the latecomers. And if there ends up being a choice between you and another applicant, extra points scored will tip the balance in your favour.
  There also may be occasions when you will be required to perform some task such as filling in a form with your personal details. Having arrived early, you won’t be in a rush to do this, and as it will be in your own hand, the practice you did at home starts to make sense. Guaranteed, this little addition isn’t just to find out if you remember where you live!
  Don’t be surprised if you aren’t the only applicant in reception or an outer room. Like you, most of them will be nervous. What they won’t have is the edge you’ve given yourself before the day. Avoid being too smug about this, and if you do chat with any of them, don’t give away your secret. Just display your confidence and relaxed attitude as your normal personality. It will put the others on the back foot. If they stare or smirk at your smart appearance, that’s a bonus - they are kicking themselves for not being the same, and are probably wondering why they bothered coming because it’s pretty obvious who’s most likely to get the job. Don’t feel guilty about any of this – it’s simple gamesmanship. Winners use it all the time.

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