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Interview tips for today’s tough job market

April 17, 2009

In today’s ultra-competitive job market, even landing an interview is a feat. But many unemployed candidates blow the opportunity by appearing desperate or bitter about their situations, The Wall Street Journal reports. “People are becoming a lot more aggressive,” the paper quotes Julie Loubaton, director of recruiting for Atlanta-based Consolidated Container, as saying. “They often wind up hurting themselves.”

To stand out for the right reasons, leave your baggage and anxiety behind. Arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. During the interview itself, avoid nervous movements like looking around the room or tapping your fingers. Exude an upbeat attitude, keeping your personal woes out of the interview process. “You want to demonstrate resilience in the face of unpredictable obstacles,” the Journal quotes Wendy Alfus Rothman, president of New York-based executive-coaching firm Wenroth Consulting, as saying.

Show that you’ve done your homework by explaining how your background relates to the company’s current needs, says Deborah Markus, founder of Columbus Advisors, an executive-search firm in New York. Learn how recent changes in the marketplace have affected the firm, its competitors and the industry overall by reading press releases, annual reports, media coverage and industry blogs.

After an interview, be careful with your follow-up. Be sure to address thank-you notes to the right people, and proofread closely for spelling and grammatical errors. In an intensely competitive job market, even a minor faux pas can hurt your chances. — Compiled by Greg Beaubien for Tactics and The Strategist Online


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