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There is an art and etiquette to interviewing just as there is a balance of etiquette in good table manners. The people interviewing you will know whether these skills are present, just as the people you dine with will know whether or not you have basic table manners . . . by the impressions you leave.

There are a number of procedures/techniques that can be followed to increase your chances of obtaining a job. Your desire, willingness and effort to apply these techniques can mean obtaining the job of choice. This discussion outline is intended to cover only fundamental interviewing techniques. There are entire books written on the subject of interviewing.

We will assume that most of the individuals reading this know how to dress and present themselves in a physical sense for an interview. If you do not feel comfortable in this area we would highly recommend reading Dress for Success for men or Women's Dress for Success by John T. Molloy.

The first rule of interviewing that overrides everything else is "Be yourself, be natural and be honest above all things!" We have seen people that get so focused on techniques that they forget to relax, to be real and to be themselves. If you aren't comfortable with a technique, by all means, don't use it!

A one or two hour interview gives both parties only enough time for a "snapshot impression" of each other. This is why it is critical that you are prepared for the interview. Preparation for the interview is discussed below.

Research the company history; you need to know something (even if it is only a modest amount of information) about the company before you walk into the interview. Some companies are very impressed, even flattered when a candidate has taken the time to understand their operations. They note that you have gone the extra mile and have done your homework. Companies hire candidates that are in love with them!

Prepare a well-organized story/outline about who you are and rehearse the outline. The outline should consist of a chronological list of accomplishments and achievements in a story form. The outline should be one page in length and consist of key words and events. The resulting story told during the interview should be five to twelve minutes in length. The well-organized story should be tailored to the interviewer's company's primary areas of interest and should be rehearsed again and again until the story is both natural and extemporaneous. Rehearsing the outline builds tremendous self-confidence. It will also help you to stay focused and avoid tangent stories, which can be quite annoying.

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