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The ideal job just doesn’t drop into a person’s lap. Whether you want a job in sales, consultations, or providing services to the general public or private companies, you have to wow the interviewer until they see you as an asset to the business.

Preparing for a job interview means more than just grabbing a cup of coffee at the store before showing up. By preparing yourself physically and mentally for the meeting, you will feel more confident about yourself while showing your professionalism to the interviewer. Here’s our five tips on how to prepare for an interview:

1. Learn about the company and the position. Too many people rely on getting all of their information from the interviewer, which can take too much time at the meeting and shorten the opportunities to really dazzle the hirer with your CV, experience and personality. Before the interview, review company information. You can use this knowledge to make your answers more related to the company’s operations and what benefits you can bring to the business if you are hired. Our guide to team building provides an insight into the employers frame of mind when hiring new staff.

2. Create meaningful questions to ask the interviewer. When you ask questions, you are showing that you are interested in the job and that you want to further understand how your skills can fit into the position. These questions also help to create a worthwhile conversation with the interviewer instead of a one-sided question and answer session. You can show your personable traits such as critical thinking skills, listening skills, and how you interact with other people. It is equally important to be prepared for questions the interviewer may ask you.

3. Always dress like a professional. Even if you are going to a job interview to become a car mechanic, you still want to look your best. Wear clean clothes that are business professional attire. Be well groomed and avoid any bad habits, such as smoking or drinking, to calm your nerves. Instead, take deep breaths, use the lavatory, and go over your notes about the company and the position while you wait.

4. Make a great impression before you arrive and during the interview. So turn off your cell phone, get rid of any chewing gum, and arrive at your appointment at least 5 minutes prior to the meeting. During the interview, pay attention to your body language. You don’t want to slouch or not make eye contact with the interviewer. Instead, keep your posture straight, smile, shake hands and speak clearly in a strong voice.

5. Take notes and prepare for the second interview. Throughout the initial interview, you want to make notes about the company, its agendas, and the objectives for the job position. When the interview ends, it isn’t a time to simply rest your heels and wait for an answer. Expect that you had a good interview session and prepare follow-up questions in case they want to speak more about your skills and experience. Even if you don’t get that second phone call, you can still evaluate how well the previous meeting went and make the necessary changes to impress the next interviewer so you reach success.

Perseverance and determination are your allies in getting the job that will lead to the right career. Never look at a failed interview as a setback. Rise up to every new challenge with a positive mindset as you will find that one interviewer who will be impressed by your skills and education.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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