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A Winning Job Interview

Come prepared with questions and be ready to show off what you know

En español | Most of us have been on job interviews. That's how people usually get jobs. But not long ago, it was typical to hear, "Getting a job is really about who you know." That went hand in hand with "My dad knows the guy who runs the print shop [or accounting group, auto body shop, PR staff, you fill in the blank] and that's how I got my job." For most of us, those days are gone, especially for older job hunters.

The recession and slow recovery make it tough for everyone to find work. So, when interviews come your way, how do you make the most of them?

It's challenging to stay upbeat if you're focused on past rejections. It may be hard to engage with younger interviewers if you think they're thinking about your age. But appearing irritated, uninterested, intimidated or defeated during an interview means even less chance of an offer.

Be prepared to:

  • Be dynamic and interesting
  • Ask questions about the company
  • Interview the interviewer
  • Dress professionally (including hair and makeup)


When you are sitting across from your interviewer, remember to sit up straight. Never sit all the way back in your chair; you don't want to appear overconfident or possibly bored. Literally, sit on the edge of your seat. It makes you sit up straighter and helps keep you focused and engaged.

Do your research. Visit the company's website. Get familiar with board members, senior staff, vision, mission and goals. Review news releases on the organization's current events. Whether you're interviewing to be an assistant or an executive, be knowledgeable and inquisitive. Always ask questions. Never say, "You've told me everything, I don't have any questions."

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