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Prepare Yourself

Whether you pay thousands of dollars to have a mock interview videotaped and analyzed or a friend grills you on common interview questions, spend some time thinking through your interview. Practice may not make perfect, but it will make you more at ease.

The personality you convey is just as important--if not more important--than your pedigree. Interviewers aren't just looking for stellar performers. They're also screening future officemates. Case in point: one well-known consulting firm asks its interviewers: "Would you want to sit next to this person on a five-hour plane ride?" If the response is "No," that interviewee doesn't get hired, no matter how impressive his or her credentials.

Of course you want to present yourself as poised, confident, intelligent, and capable. But you also want to convey your true nature. Be yourself; don't try to be the person you think they're looking for.

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