It is not easy to succeed in unprepared job interview but there is always a way out to every problem, if you can research and prepare very well; and never neglect an easy way to ease anxiety before a job interview. By understanding the 9 parts of a job interview we begin to feel a bit more in control. We know what to expect and when. At that point, we can prepare for each predictable stage. We can use writing, visualization and practice interviews to become well prepared and to present the best possible image of ourselves as a potential employee of that company.

Take a look at the following 9 parts of a job interview:

Preparation– This begins well before the day of the interview. Preparation should include knowing exactly where the interview will take place, preparing answers for commonly asked questions, practicing positive body language, having your clothes ready, researching the company, getting a good nights sleep and being mindful of your total appearance and hygiene.

Arriving– The interview really begins when you step foot on company property. Too many candidates naively do not realize this. Smoking in your car or an unfiltered conversation in the waiting room can eliminate your eligibility.

Greeting– Many times, this takes place within the waiting area. A firm handshake, a warm smile, eye contact and a confident greeting can propel you into a top candidate position.

Introductions– This usually occurs the minute you sit down with the interviewer. Do you feel your confidence sink as you lower in the seat? Practice introducing your professional self. Know what you want to say.

Questions & Answers – There are common, predictable questions within the interview. Practice, practice, practice. Know what you will say to each question. Define your tough question, turn it into a positive!

My Question – You are expected to ask a question at the end of the interview. Wait until you are asked if you have any questions. Prepare a few thoughtful intelligent questions. By not asking any question, you appear disinterested in the position. Ask the wrong question and you appear to be a bad candidate.

Exiting – Exiting gracefully allows you to leave a positive lasting impression with the interviewer. Smile. Thank the interviewer for their time.

Thank You – A handwritten thank you card is still the way to knock you into the lead after the interview. Put the card in the mail immediately after the interview. Thank you emails DO NOT cut it.

Follow Up – Know how and when to follow up. Following up shows that you are really interested. Following up too much and too aggressively can make you look like a dangerous stalker.

Each of these 9 parts have their own common mistakes and hidden land mines. Each part also has its own way to shine! Make job searching fun or at least less painful by being prepared!

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