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Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season can be a great time to look for a job. Hiring continues right through the end of the year, so you’ll want to be ready for interviews. Since you will no doubt be busy and distracted by activities that may seem more important than your job search, this is a good time to get your interview preparedness kit ready.

What do you need to have on hand so you can confidently interview for your targeted jobs at the drop of a hat?

Your “what to wear” kit. Do you have your interview attire clean and ready to wear? If someone calls, you should be able to get dressed and go. If you’re not ready, now is the time to get organized.

Your marketing materials and pitch. It’s your job to come in with a clear understanding of what the organization needs and to raise those points during your conversation with the hiring manager.

Answers for questions you don’t want to address. Were you fired? Be prepared to discuss it. Did you hate your last boss? Have a good answer if and when the topic comes up. Is there a skill the employer wants that you don’t have? Plan what you will say when it surfaces. Smile, give an answer that helps him or her feel confident that you’re not the type of person to blabber on about negative topics, and move on.

Questions for your interviewer.  Your interviewer hopes you’re smart and capable, so ask questions proving you have both of those qualities.

Your follow-up plan. Another often overlooked aspect of the interview process: Most job seekers don’t send a thank you note, nor do they follow up with their interviewers. Be sure you have the complete names, titles, and contact information for everyone you meet; it makes following up so much easier.

Read the entire post on my column on the U.S. News & World Report site.

photo by calsidyrose

 

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