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Your Personal Jobseeker's Guide

The Interview
  You intend to be polite and respectful towards your interviewers, but no way will you be intimidated by them. Nor will you get rattled. Before you go in, relax as much as you can. Focus on something that will calm your nerves – the chat you will have with a friend afterwards, or tonight’s party. This will be an important experience, an enjoyable one you can maybe have a laugh over later. For now, you can only do your best, and it will be good enough. Believe that.
  The person you are about to meet already knows some of your attributes from your application and work history, so you won’t have to repeat any of this unless asked. What you will need to do, however, is reinforce your personality and work ethic. When appropriate, speak confidently about your ability and eagerness to do the job in question. Be positive that you are comfortable working alone or as part of a team. Keep the conversation light, but beware of being too casual and flippant – remember the old saying: "familiarity breeds contempt".
  At all times, speak clearly and not too fast. If you are asked to repeat something, it’s most likely because you’ve been gabbling or mumbling. Apologise: "Sorry. I’m just a bit nervous." The interviewer will understand and be forgiving as long as you make every effort to continue intelligibly. Focus your attention with appropriate eye contact. Talking to the wall or window behind the interviewer won’t do you any good – they aren’t going to give you the job. And many believe a person who won’t look them in the eye has something to hide. Also, keep your eyes on them when they are talking so that they know they have your attention, but don’t stare at them. And if you notice something about them that looks peculiar or amusing, don’t stare at that either, especially if it’s a physical blemish.
  Ensure you have your body language under control. Try not to fidget, bite your lip or twiddle your hair. In fact, keep your hands away from your face, in particular your mouth when you are speaking. If you have to stand during the interview, clasp your hands loosely in front of you; if seated, rest them on your lap. Stuffing them in pockets is too casual, and folding them will make you seem arrogant and overbearing. I wouldn’t advise crossing your legs, either. If you are still tense, one of them could go to sleep and if you fall over on your way out – imagine that!
  You will be asked a few questions during the interview. Having done your research on the company, you will already have some of them covered. The odd one, however, could stump you. For example, how will you answer questions like: "What do you hope to achieve in this job?" or: "Why do you believe you are the best person for the job?" Don’t think it won’t happen – it has to me a few times. Try to imagine the kind of questions they might ask and figure out some answers for them. If it’s something for which you are totally unprepared, stay calm and say something like: "I’m sorry. You’ve caught me on the hop, there. Before I answer, I’d like to know a little more about the job, if you could spare the time." After that, you’ll have to wing it.
  Having read this, you may find a few more things you need to brush up on before the day. So be it.

A Tour of the Workplace
  Occasionally someone will take you around the workplace. Usually this will be as part of a group, but not always, depending on the type of work and how far you’ve managed to get through the selection process. Take in as much as you can. Imagine you are already employed there and need to know not only everything about your own job, but also where it sits in the scheme of things. Factories and large offices are classic examples of departmentalisation – cogs in a machine, if you like. How does the part you will be playing fit in, and which of the rest are likely to affect your efficiency?
  If you have the opportunity, ask questions. But make sure they are pertinent and that you truly want to know the answer. Refrain from annoying your guide with irrelevant quizzing which is merely to impress – I doubt it will. If the tour takes place before the actual interview, save a question or two for that. But again, make sure the asking will improve your chances and not detract from them.

Waiting For The Good News
  It may only take a few days, perhaps longer. Utilise the time to check on travel to and from the job. I realise you haven’t got it yet, not one hundred percent, but when you do, you won’t want to be late on your first day. You have, of course, already been there at least once, but was it during peak times, or later in the day when traffic was easier and you had plenty of leeway? Check it again. See how long it takes to get there and whether there are any hassles. If using the car, find the best route, the cheapest parking plus alternatives in case the lots are full when you arrive. Plan this trial the day before you do it. Next day put it into practice, exactly as if you are going to work. Allow some extra minutes in case of delays. And if you get out of bed too late, by all means try again the following day, but get really serious next time – this isn’t a game: it’s your future you’re being so casual about!

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