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It is important to prepare for your interview. It will help you to remain calm and collected under pressure.

Decide what you are going to wear, make sure your clothes are freshly washed and ironed. Get your portfolio together. Take a few extra copies of your resume, along with a list of references.

Make sure you know the exact place and time of the interviewer. It would also help to know the name of the person who is going to take the interview. Write it down and learn to pronounce it correctly. If it is possible, learn a bit more about the company, such as annual sales revenue, principal lines of business and locations.

Prepare questions you may want to ask during the interview. Base these questions on your research to show that you’ve done your homework.

Do’s

Be punctual. Arrive on time or better still a few minutes early.

Greet the interviewer by last name if you are sure of the pronunciation.

Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright, and look alert and interested at all times.

Listen carefully and respond briefly and fluently.

Try to get the interviewer to describe the job and the duties so you can focus your responses and relate to the position. Be sincere.

Don’ts

Don’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” Explain whenever possible.

If you don’t understand a question – or need a moment to think about it – say so. Never pretend to know something or someone when you don’t.

Don’t make negative remarks about present or former employers. When explaining why you left, communicate your justification professionally.

Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, benefits, bonuses or retirement on the initial interview. If the interviewer asks what salary you want, give a range based on your research of the job market, but indicate that you’re more interested in the opportunity for continued learning and professional development than in a specific salary.

Additional Tips

Practice shaking hands with your roommate or a friend! Make it a firm one – not too limp, not too hard. If you tend to get nervous you’ll want to rub a bit of talcum powder on your hands just before the interview.

Generally it’s best to dress conservatively for an interview. This usually means an ironed shirt, dark pants, polished shoes, and dark socks for men and well ironed sari or salwar kurta for women. Do not apply very strong after-shaves or perfumes.

Go into the interview with questions at hand. Your employer research should open a number of lines of questioning about the job and company. Prepare questions that reflect your knowledge of the organisation.

Preparing for interviews is an important and often overlooked step in the job search process.

The above guidelines should give you the confidence and knowledge base needed to do well in your job interviews.