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Interview etiquette: how to land the job

You can really impress a future employer by showing you've done your homework on their company

Congratulations! You've made it to the interview thanks to your brilliant resume and standout cover letter. But now comes the time to wow your prospective employer.

For most of us, a job interview is a nerve-wracking experience. But don't worry, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself.

Research

Research is key. You can really impress a future employer by showing you've done your homework on their company. And nothing looks worse to a hiring manager than having no idea about the company or what they do. Make sure you do some research online – check out the company's website and find out the names of key people within the company. Find out what their mission and goals are, and have an answer prepared for the inevitable question, "Why do you want to work here?"

Practice

Make a list of all the questions you think are likely to come up during the interview. It's almost a given that they'll ask you why you want the job and what you think you can bring to the role, so prepare answers in advance and practise them.

First impressions count

Be on time, dress appropriately (it's better to be overdressed than underdressed) and remember to smile! A good handshake and a genuine smile will demonstrate that you're confident, at ease and that you have good social skills. It's also a good way to ensure they remember you.

Give examples

Don't just talk about what skills and experience you have, give real life examples too. If, for example, you have customer service experience, give a specific example of how you went out of your way to provide excellent customer service. Your interviewer knows nothing about you, so don't be shy – this is an opportunity to really sell yourself.

Ask questions

Be prepared with questions of your own to ask at the end of the interview. And don't forget to thank them for their time, and ask when you might expect to hear whether you've been successful.

If you aren't lucky this time around, don't beat yourself up. You won't win every interview in your life, but you'll certainly gain a lot of wisdom from the experience.

Don't hesitate to speak to your TAFE NSW lecturers, or contact student services for career development advice.