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If you are currently looking for a job, and feeling a little stressed about your upcoming performance in the next job interview, take heart. Today’s competitive job market puts pressure on all candidates to put their best foot forward. You are not alone. That said, here are a few simple steps we at Prodigy Placements offer to help you better prepare for success – and cut the stress by knowing you’ve done all you can to shine in the limelight.

1. Do your homework. Research the company you are about to interview with. Get to know their business, their customers and competitors, as much about the job you are applying for and how you add value to the mission. If possible, talk to potential co-workers to get a feel for the culture. Review your notes before you interview, and be prepared to comment intelligently when prompted during the process.

2. Let the interviewer lead. If you’ve done your homework correctly, you should already have some ideas on how you might fit in. Allow the interviewer to lead the discussion. Answer honestly. Be brief. You may want to practice with a professional recruiter and prepare for some of the more common questions in advance.

3. Be yourself. Never show off or overstate your case. If asked about a weakness, admit it – then counter with how you might correct it moving forward. Allow your personality to come through, but remember: humility trumps arrogance every time.

4. Stay positive. You may not have had the greatest experience at your last place of employment, but a new job interview is no place to air your grievances. Stay positive. Avoid putting down past employers or fellow employees. Emphasize your strong points and take the high road.

5. Follow with a “thank you.” An attitude of gratitude goes a long way toward leaving your interviewer with a positive impression. Be earnest, but don’t overdo it. A follow-up thank you note the next day is always a nice touch.

The job interview is the closing table for any job search. Talk to Prodigy Placements for personalized advice on your job search – and prepare to say “yes” to a final offer!

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