Today it’s more challenging than ever to land a great job. It’s possible you’ll have to go through several interviews before you find the position you’re looking for. You might feel a knot in your stomach, your pulse rate jump, and your hands suddenly perspire as you anticipate the interview. In fact, if you’re prone to sweaty palms,

1: Freshen up First.

Sprinkle some talcum powder in your pocket ahead of time and massage a little onto your palms before shaking hands with those you meet.

2: Break the Barrier with a Sincere Smile

Jonathan, a professional sales and marketing consultant shared with a friend recently that in this job-search climate he’s always on the lookout for such useful tips. Besides a warm, dry hand he claims a sincere and optimistic attitude, a smile, and looking the person in the eye, go a long way to break down initial barriers. Being friendly and forthright helps one relax and puts the hiring managers on your side.

You may even want to go a step further. Find out at least one unique detail about the person who will be interviewing you. For example, one job seeker learned that a woman hiring manager was crazy about cats. He mentioned his own cat in the discussion about the job. Her eyes lit up. They had something in common besides the opening in the company.

Another job seeker discovered the man who contacted him for an interview was an opera buff. During a question and answer session, the job seeker mentioned how he liked to relax on a Friday night after work by attending the opera and even suggested the company purchase a block of tickets and sell to employees at a discount. This idea sparked an interesting discussion of how to provide cultural experiences for employees.

3: You Can Be Personal AND Professional

Looking to add some sort of personal touch to each interview is bound to engage at least one or two hiring managers and could make the difference between being overlooked and being hired. Here’s an example of how to move the conversation in this direction. Take the lead. “I noticed in your company brochure that you take good care of your employees and as a result they have a high level of loyalty to your organization.

In my last job I was in charge of the annual sales meeting one summer at a resort with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. I suggested we hold our session poolside. We then invited attendees to stay afterward for a swim and drinks on the company. We even provided bathing suits in assorted sizes for those who didn’t bring theirs. Employees talked about this event for months afterward.”

A conversation-starter such as this will provide so much more information and insight about you, your creativity, personality, and client relations than stock answers to typical interview questions. So make a plan now to be friendly, be confident, be creative, and spark the discussion with personal details that draw in the hiring manager.

Related reading: 8 Tips To Prepare for Your Big Interview.

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