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7 questions that determine how well you interview for a job

Ask yourself these questions to see if you're ready for your big interview

How would you rate your job interview skills? Are you the calm, cool and collected type, the one with all the answers? Or do you feel your stress level rise at the very thought of preparing for your next one? Interviewing is not a natural talent for most people. It takes considerable preparation and practice to do it well. Take a moment to test your interview IQ! Think whether each statement is true or false before reading the answers.

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1. You should always ask a question before you leave the interview.

Answer: True!

By asking an intelligent question, you exhibit your knowledge of the prospective job and the employer. Avoid asking anything already covered in the interview or something you should know.

2. You shouldn't practice interview answers because you will seem insincere or robotic.

Answer: False!

It is always wise to practice interviewing. Make note of expected questions, as well as your responses. Include examples of accomplishments to support your candidacy. Rehearse alone or with a colleague. If you can, practice with someone and encourage them to challenge you and ask follow-up questions. This will improve your ability to think on your feet during an interview.

3. You can’t predict what an employer will ask.

Answer: False!

Sure, you can’t predict every question, but with a bit of research, you can better anticipate the type of questions you will hear. For example, study the job posting, and you will learn the skills the interviewer wants you to validate. Research the industry so you know current events. Review websites with insider information, such as Glassdoor.com, to read questions former candidates were asked, as well as learn about the company.

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4. The receptionist offers you coffee, water, or tea. You should decline politely or only accept a cup of water.

Answer: True!

Surprisingly, many candidates jump at the chance for coffee, made just the way they like it. If you need a mocha coffee with soy milk and a whisper of cinnamon, better stop by your favorite coffee spot after the interview. While at the interview, accept only water, which may be helpful if your throat gets dry.

5. The hiring employer should pay for your parking expenses, since you are their guest.

Answer: False!

Many hiring employers will pay for your parking expense; however, don’t expect it and certainly don’t ask. In advance, research the parking situation and make sure you have the means to pay.

6. The interviewer asks about your Java skills but you have never used the program. To make sure you have a shot, you should not reveal this skills gap.

Answer: False!

Honestly is always the best policy when interviewing. If you lack the skills required for your target job, it's best to admit you are not proficient at this time. However, assure the interviewer that you are a quick learner and eager to adopt the new skill.

7. Make sure you have a business card or contact information for the interviewer before the interview ends.

Answer: True!

If you don’t already have this information, ask for a business card or contact information as you are about to leave. This will enable you to send a thank-you email to each interviewer. This follow-up is your chance to express why you are the ideal candidate. Send the thank you email within one business day.

How many of these seven questions did you answer correctly? You may be the perfect candidate for a job opening, but if you don't present yourself well in an interview, you may not earn a second interview — or the job. Don’t fret over past interview mistakes. Instead, learn the ins and outs of interviewing to increase your chances of success in your job search.

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