"Luck comes from being prepared when opportunity comes your way" Some days you are simply "Lucky" and you can do no wrong even if you try. But, for most of us, it comes after a lot of careful planning and work in preparation.
Focus on the specific job or jobs you want to land. Research the companies that offer the jobs, their hiring process, key personnel and any additional information you can find. Know what you are looking for and where to find it. The internet provides endless information on job searches, prospective employers, details about the employers and often a list of current openings and an on-line hiring process.
Appropriate dress, good grooming. Overdress before you underdress. Clean shoes. No wrinkles. No stains. In style but conservative. Check your breath. Don't smoke or be around people who smoke where you might pick up the smell. Avoid strong perfume or cologne. Be conservative with your bling. Prepare yourself for the "first impression".
Prepare a good resume that sells you, is free of errors, professional, simple and to the point.
Practice answers to common questions. You do not want to be caught off guard. Do what research you can on the business you are interviewing with. Your local library can provide lot of help. Contacts Influential is a good reference book to start with. The internet can be a wealth of information. Come up with some questions of your own that show your interest and knowledge of their company. Do your homework for every interview. (see Questions to ask... Click here )
If you have Facebook or any other social media be sure they are professional and represents you in a positive way. If you list an email address be sure you avoid an inappropriate name like firstname.lastname@example.org . You might open a new email account just for your job search. Same with your voice mail recordings. Keep them conservative and professional. You can change them back after you land the job.
Tell us about yourself.
This is a common first interview question leaving you the cold start opportunity to either pass or fail the interview. Be prepared. Have a 1 to 2 minute interesting and compelling presentation ready to present, targeted for the job you are applying for and selling your qualifications. Write or type it out. Practice it on someone until you can present it smoothly, effortlessly and with as much enthusiasm as you can muster. You might consider starting with your most current or longest employment highlighting your role, accomplishments and successes. Let them know what you are proud of and what satisfied you the most. Then summarize your overall experience specifically directed towards the target job. You could finish with why you are looking for a job or a job change. Tell them what you are looking for. Let them know what your motivation is. Tell them why you are interviewing for this particular job.
Be early. Be polite, respectful, confident, positive, upbeat and business like. Make a good first impression. Make good eye contact at all times. You should be expected to do about 60% to 80% of the talking. Don't interrupt. Give concise but thorough answers. Never put down a prior employer and don't let the interviewer lure you into a discussion where you might let your guard down. Be in control! Don't bring up income until the interviewer indicates an intent to offer you the job and then asks if you have any questions. This situation should be anticipated and rehearsed. Thank them for the interview and tell them you are interested in the position. (if you are)
If you are interested in the job then send the interviewer(s) an email or call them and thank them for the interview and let them know that you are interested. Use Spell Check! They will usually direct you as to their procedure. Don't make a nuisance of yourself, but make contact enough to keep your name in front of them and inform them of your continued interest.
If you get a second interview and/or an offer, be prepared. Make sure that you thoroughly understand the job, terms, income, benefits and any other details you deem important. There is no re-negotiating after you are hired.