What to Do Before You Interview for a Job

Boost your chances of landing a job offer.

Condensed from Reader's Digest, | February 2011

Before you show up for that job interview, don’t just dryclean your best suit.  Take these simple first steps and you’ll boost your chances of landing an offer.

1. It may sound obvious, but double-check your social networking profiles and be sure to delete any objectionable posts or photos. If your Facebook friends have tagged photos you don’t want a recruiter to turn up, use the “Wisk-It” application to erase them. Click on the applications button at the bottom left of the Facebook home page, then the “all applications” button, then follow the Wisk-It logo.

2. You’ll also want to set up a professional e-mail address for any job-related communications (save dungeonsanddragonsdork1@e-mail.com for your friends), and complete your Linked In profile if you haven’t already. A Linked-In spokeswoman tells wsj.com that a job hunter who fills in all the blanks is 40 times more likely to “receive opportunities.”

3. Make sure your credit report is in good shape. Michelle Singletary, who writes the Color of Money column for the Washington Post, reports that some employers are checking applicants’ personal finances before making an offer. Though the checks are controversial and somewhat regulated, 60 percent of companies use them for some positions.

4. Find out why your predecessor left (problems with deadlines, problems speaking coherently?). Then mention, in flawless English, how you like to get things done early.

5. Come prepared with your own talking points or even a portfolio of work, HR consultant Bill Byham tells Fortune. You may get an incompetent interviewer who will follow your lead.

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