Nothing is more exciting and nerve-racking to a job seeker than an interview. It's exciting that you finally have an opportunity to sit down with a potential employer after sending out so many resumes. However, people often feel anxious that if they don't perform well they will lose out on the job. Here we'll discuss some practical tips for doing your best in job interviews.

Before the Interview

There's no such thing as being too prepared for an interview. Use the days leading up to it to research the company and memorize the responsibilities of the position you are seeking. Doing this will help you come across as knowledgeable and informed during the interview. Visit the company's website and also read up on any news pertaining to the company and its industry, the University of Texas at Austin recommends. Check out Hoovers.com, which provides thorough reports on companies, and Vault.com, which provides employer rankings and reviews.

Practice answering common interview questions such as "why do you want to work for this company?" Indiana University's Kelley School of Business provides an excellent list of common interview questions. Get a friend or family member to pretend to be the interviewer so you can get some feedback.

Double-check the time and place where you will have your interview. If it is in an unfamiliar area, you may want to print out a map and drive to the location the day before to make sure you'll be able to find it easily.

Choose a conservative and professional outfit. A job interview is not the place to wear trendy, flashy or worn out clothing. Men should consider shaving any facial hair and getting a haircut the day before an interview and women should avoid tight or revealing clothing.

During the Interview

Arrive early for your interview; being 10 to 15 minutes early is appropriate. Let your body language show that you are interested in the position by smiling and warmly greeting your interviewer.

While you are being interviewed, listen closely to the questions you are asked to ensure you are giving him or her the right information. When answering questions, avoid space fillers like "uh" and "um." If you need to think about an answer, say "Let me think about that" and take a short time to gather your thoughts. Be prepared to sell yourself by speaking confidently about your education, skills and experience. Always focus on what you can bring to the company, rather than what the company can bring to you.

At some point, the interviewer will likely ask whether you have any questions. Have a few prepared based on the research you did.

After the Interview

Always write a thank you note to the person who conducted the interview. Not only is this common courtesy, but it also helps keep your name fresh on the minds of the hiring staff.

If you don't hear back about the job, it's appropriate to call to inquire about the position. However, be mindful of what your interviewer told you about the time frame for the hiring process. If the interviewer told you the company would be conducting interviews for the next week, you should definitely wait to call until after that week is over.

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