Will You Homer or Strike Out on Your Next Job Interview?

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding and your brain is racing. You’re about to be interviewed for your dream job. It all comes down to this moment. Will you nail it? Or will you miss out on the chance to land your dream job?

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While no one knows exactly what your chances are in landing a job once you’ve been interviewed, it’s safe to say that if you got that far, you do stand a decent chance. There are many, many ways to prepare yourself for a job interview (outside of breathing deep, talking clearly and staying focused), some of which take place way before you’re even selected for one. I’m talking about social media.

Are You Getting Too Social?

Did you know that companies are looking at your profile before an interview may even take place? A survey conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder found that 43 percent of employers use social media to research job candidates. Of those that don’t use it, 12 percent plan on starting soon.

Lesson number one: Keep your social media profiles clean, relevant, useful and engaging. If an employer sees inappropriate language or pictures, you can almost guarantee that you will not be getting that job.

According to Tony Restell, Social-Hire.com’s CEO, “For candidates, social media can certainly “backfire” if there’s anything on your social profiles that causes the recruiter to question your professionalism or that doesn’t tally with what you’ve stated on your resume. Nowadays, you should assume that your social profiles will be looked at every bit as much as your actual resume and cover letter, so you should invest in cleaning them up and perfecting them accordingly.”

Go through all of your social media platforms and delete anything inappropriate, then work on adding information that future employers will find of value.

Prep for the Interview

Once the behind-the-scenes work is done, it’s time to prepare for the actual interview. Research common questions that interviewer’s ask and do a trial run with a close relative or friend. The better prepared you are with your answers, the more comfortable you will be during the actual interview.

The article “7 Crazy questions you’d never expect to be asked at an interview” goes over some of the more out-there, not quite work-related questions that an interviewer may ask. While you don’t necessarily need to “prepare” for these types of questions, it can be fun to think about how you would go about answering them. Questions include things like “What type of song best describes you?”, “Why are manhole covers round?” and “If you were a punctuation mark, what type would you be?” Hmmm.

Other ways that you can prepare for an interview include dressing your best, having at least three copies of your resume handy, bringing your portfolio, smiling and staying positive.

An infographic compiled by Come Recommended states that the number one mistake that job interviewees make is simply not asking for the job. Separate yourself from all the other candidates by stating just how badly you want this job and then – ask for it.

Follow-up with a “Thank you” email a few days later and ask if there’s anything else they need from you. If you still don’t get the job, at least you will know that you did everything in your power to nail it.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, job interviews and personal finance.