May 12, 2004 | By: Ellen Brightwell

Preparation is vital to a successful job search, whether for full- or part-time employment. Getting ready involves developing attire and a mind-set suited to the position as well as knowledge of the job responsibilities and prospective employer.

“Your physical appearance, attitude and actions express your suitability for a job,” said Linda Heaton, Extension specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.   “Clothing is a strong indicator because it reflects your personality and perception of the job. Potential employers place great emphasis on appropriate apparel and attitude for the job.  Generally speaking, be neatly and conservatively dressed.  Analyze proper attire for the position and dress accordingly.

“Your manner and attitude should reflect the type person you are, or want to be.  Pay attention to your posture and body language. Take an active part in the interview to show the employer you are the best candidate for the position.  Be ready to talk about yourself, career objectives and interests.  Don’t underestimate your hobbies and extracurricular or volunteer activities, because these indicate the type of person you are.  It may help to prepare several questions in advance to ask the interviewer.”

Prior to the interview, carefully read the job description to be sure you understand it; then do research on the prospective employer’s products or services as well as its growth and future prospects. Information sources may include libraries, internet and newspapers, trade publications or annual reports. This knowledge provides answers to the interviewer’s questions about why you want to work there and how you can contribute to the business or organization. It also is helpful to make an advance visit to be sure of the interview location and general dress code.

“The preparation will help you approach interviews with self-confidence and assurance,” she said.  “Tell yourself you can do the job as well as, perhaps better than, other applicants.  Prospective employers are impressed by real interest and enthusiasm; but don’t over do it.” 

End the interview with a smile and handshake. Remember to thank the interviewer for the opportunity to discuss the position. Some applicants write a follow-up letter stating their interests in the position and qualifications for it.

“In a tight job market, many people are turned down for a job, or lose one,” Heaton said. “It is important to take charge of your life by adopting a positive attitude and moving on to another application or interview, rather than moping around and complaining about your bad luck. You will be much happier and more successful in the long run.”


Writer: Ellen Brightwell 859-257-4736 ext. 257
Source: Linda Heaton 859-257-7775