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The Application

Many employers will tell you to apply online. After you fill out the online application, make sure to drop off a copy of your resume in person. This allows them to put a face to the online application. It also gives them a hard copy of your resume that they do not have to go online to review. 

The Interview

Tip 1: Research

Be prepared to ask and answer questions about the position, the company, and how hiring you will help the company meet their goals. 

Tip 2: Practice

Before your interview, ask a friend or family member to ask you questions. (See Tip 9 for sample questions.) Ask for feedback on your appearance as well as your answers. Also practice your handshake. No one likes a limp handshake or a handshake that crushes bones!

Tip 3: Appearance

Doing your research will also give you a good idea of what employees wear. If the work place is casual, boys might wear nice khakis and a buttoned, collared shirt. Girls should stick to the same guidelines although instead of a buttoned shirt, they can choose a business casual blouse and skirt.

Avoid clothing that is torn, revealing, or too casual (or too formal). Make sure your hair is neatly combed. If you are applying for a job in food service, considering pulling it back. Be aware that many companies have rules against visible tattoos and facial piercings.

Tip 4: Be on Time

In general, show up about 15 minutes early for the interview. Make sure you know where to park ahead of time and where the interview is located. 

Tip 5: First & Second Impressions

A positive first impression is crucial in an interview. Your physical appearance is an unavoidable first impression. Introducing yourself with a smile and a handshake while making eye contact and speaking confidently will make a good second impression. 

Tip 6: Presentation

Take a deep breath and relax. Maintain good posture and a pleasant attitude to make that first good impression last. Overall, be friendly; it will even help you to feel more at ease. Remember to smile and have a pleasant demeanor and body language. Your whole body should show that you're relaxed and friendly.

Tip 7: Contacts

If you know someone who works at the company, don't be afraid to speak up and let the interviewer know. Often, the interviewer will then question your contact about your work ethic, skills, and personality.

Tip 8: Questions

There are a number of questions typically asked during an interview. Go here to learn how to best answer them.

Tip 9: Your Exit

At the conclusion of the interview, smile, shake the interviewer's hand, and thank him or her for the interview. You want to end the interview as well as it began.

Tip 10: Follow-Up

After the interview, immediately send the interviewer a handwritten thank you note. You may also choose to send a thank you email in addition to the handwritten note. This will help the interviewer recall your name and face. Don't hesitate to check back in a few days, if you haven't heard anything. It shows you are interested and persistent.

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