Congratulations! You have been invited to a job interview. Based on your resume, your qualifications match what the employer is seeking in a candidate.

A job interview is a two-way street. It's an opportunity for both parties to determine if you fit into the company, and if the company fits into you. The interview will allow you to gain some insight about the job and the company, and also enables the employer the opportunity to determine if you have the knowledge and skills required for the job.

It is advantageous for your success to know what employers really want to know about you. Research has indicated that employers want to know the following:
- Can you do the job?
- Do you have a good work attitude?
- How interested are you in this kind of work?
- Will you fit into the company?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
When invited to a job interview, be prepared to answer these questions. How you answer these questions may determine if you get the job or not.

During the course of the interview, the employer will be assessing all aspects of the interview. Listed below are some negative factors frequently identified by the employer during the interview which most often lead to rejection of a candidate:

- Poor personal appearance.
- A know-it-all attitude.
- A lack of enthusiasm.
- A lack of courtesy.
- Condemnation of previous employers.
- An over emphasis on money.
- Late to the interview.
- Lack of preparation.

A successful interview is going to be an indispensable step toward the fulfillment of your professional ambition. You only have one chance to establish a positive first impression with the employer. There are a lot of qualified applicants that may be applying for the same job, so getting it right the first time will be a critical factor for your success. Here are some tips to ensure a successful interview:

- Know the time and place of the interview.
- Know and use the employer's full name and title.
- Plan to be 15 minutes early in anticipation of traffic or other unanticipated delays.
- Dress in professional attire.
- If presented with an application, fill it out neatly and completely.
- Prepare to bring additional materials to the interview such as copies of your resume, a list of references, samples of your work, etc.
- Shake the employer's hand firmly.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Don't rush your answers.
- Stress your accomplishments.
- Answer every question fully and honestly.
- Don't answer with a simple "yes" or "no".
- Explain answers where possible.
- Avoid saying anything negative about previous employers or co-workers.
- Ask questions to show interest in the Company and the position.
- Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and know exactly what you want to say and do not want to say.
- Do not focus immediately on the salary and benefits. Let the employer bring it up first.
- Emphasize your skills learned at college and on the job.
- Be sure they know you are interested in the position. Never close the door on an opportunity.
- Look alert and interested at all times and look the employer in the eye.
- Relax, smile and have a positive attitude. Give the appearance of energy and enthusiasm.
- Always! Always! Always!, fax or e-mail a thank you letter to the person who interviewed you on the same day.

Consider trying these tips the next time you're invited to a job interview. Your chances of beating the competition and getting the job will improve immensely.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Al Infande is President of Infande Associates, Inc., a full service consulting firm providing Human Resources/Training and Development programs for business and industry. Dr. Infande also serves as a University Professor where he teaches courses in Human Resources Management. Dr. Infande has earned several Ph.D.s in the areas of Organizational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Human Resources Development. He has developed and delivered an array of seminars and workshops for both academicians and corporate executives. During his career, he has written several publications in the areas of Adult Education, Training and Development, and Stress Management.