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Is there anything in life more stressful than a job interview? You spend a ton of time researching the company, tweaking your resume, and picking the perfect outfit, and even when you go in and have a terrific conversation with the hiring manager, you often get a call or email a few weeks later saying they’ve gone with someone else. It’s baffling and disheartening, and at times, it seems decisions are completely arbitrary. But according to Time magazine, they’re not, and there are things you can do to increase your chances of receiving an offer.

The advice comes compliments of writer Eric Barker, who’s done his homework and drawn info from various sources. Scroll down to read his expert tips.

1. Act Like the Interviewer — This doesn’t mean you should copy his or her accent, but according to Barker, studies show that interviewers favor people who are similar to themselves. “Do they come across as aggressive and hard-charging or calm and passive?” Barker writes. “Do they come across as cultured or school of hard knocks?”

2. Be Mindful of Time — You don’t often get to pick when you go in, but if you can, keep the following things in mind: Earlier is better, and sunny days bode better than crummy¬†weather. Also — and this is a really hard one to control — you don’t want to be interviewed on the same day as the¬†strongest competition.

3. Make a Great First Impression — That one goes without saying, but the key, Barker writes, is “framing the conversation with a few well-rehearsed sentences regarding how you want to be perceived. This will end up being the structure the other person forms their memories around.” You might start by asking why they thought you’d be right for the job. “After people make positive public statements about you they will subconsciously feel the need to not contradict them,” Barker writes.

4. Feel the Power — Studies show that narcissists do really well on job interviews, and even if you’re not in love with yourself, you can “fake it ’til you make it.” Another option: practicing your “power pose” which isn’t as silly as it sounds.

5. Get a Grip — Literally. No one likes a limp handshake.

6. Ask the Right Questions — As everyone knows, “Do you have any questions for us?” is one of the most important questions you’ll hear during an interview. Ask them about company culture, expectations for the first 60 or 90 days, and the successes and failures of other folks who’ve held the position you’re interviewing for.

7. Learn the Art of Salary Negotiation — In the YouTube video Barker points to, Harvard University’s Prof. Deepak Malhotra says the best way to get the money you want is to make the company like you.


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