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handshakeYou're poised and confident, dressed appropriately, and prepared with extra copies of your resume and cover letter (in case your interviewer has misplaced them.)

And then comes the fateful question: "So...can you tell me a little something about yourself?"

For most job hunters, it's the opening question in a job interview that induces an instant cold sweat.

However, knowing what to expect (and a little practice) dispels most interview jitters on questions prospective employers will ask about you and your career goals.

Simple (but effective) job interview tips

A typical interview will most likely include questions about your past experience; how you benefitted the company you worked for; and what contributions you expect to make in your future position.

The first two questions should have been covered within your resume. A quick scan should impress the interviewer about your background and experience. However, be prepared to answer a few follow-up questions during the interview.

And, remember you have a lot going for you. Why else did they arrange an interview to speak with you?

Finally, a little research about the company you are interviewing with will be extremely helpful -- allowing you to discuss how your skills and experience make for a good fit within the organization. Coming in cold off the street is no way to impress an interviewer who also may well ask: "So. What do you know about our company?"

Ultimately, the best move you can make is to relax. Even if you've done minimal research about the company, or aren't prepared for difficult questions, it's your enthusiasm that will win the day. That means forgetting the poker face and really engaging with the people around you. If all else fails, it will at least let them know you're a team player, a valuable asset to any organizations.

Probably most importantly, don't forget the follow-up. Every job expert agrees that the most important action you can take after your departure is to immediately write a personalized HANDWRITTEN note to say thanks for the interview. At the end of the day, a little courtesy goes a long way in life, and in business, and with a little old-fashioned schmoozing you can easily get a leg up on the competition by simply being polite.

Meanwhile, just up ahead, check out the more tips and tricks to mastering the job interview around the web — with dress and fashion advice, how to answer those tough questions, common interview mistakes, post-interview etiquette — plus lots more in our guide to handling the interview process like a pro ...

More about job interviews around the Web:


Monster: Interviews - Check out the whole job interview catalog with tips on what to wear, general dos and don'ts, specific advice on types of interviews, post-interview etiquette, and related messageboard.

My Future - Career Toolbox - Acing The Interview - Get solid advice on how to score big in your interview with help on resume building and company research.

Interview Questions and Answers - Get prepared with this encyclopedia of common questions asked by interviewers -- running the gamut from clerical to career positions, plus tips on "behavioral interview" techniques, and a guide to the follow-up interview.


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