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How To Seem More Qualified in a Job Interview

Land the job of your dreams – whether or not you're qualified for it – by making yourself sound smarter, wiser, and more educated.


  • Step 1: Read a few industry journals before the interview so you have a couple of smart segues ready in case the interviewer veers into territory you're ill-equipped to handle.
  • TIP: If possible, take a continuing education course or two at a respected university so you can toss in an honest reference to tony education credentials.
  • Step 2: Drop in one or two words that make you sound well-read. Just don’t overdo it: The key to being articulate is to speak plainly most of the time; use more elaborate language only when it perfectly conveys your meaning.
  • FACT: In one survey, more than half of hiring managers said the biggest blunder a candidate could make would be to dress inappropriately for an interview.
  • Step 3: Read up on your interviewer’s career accomplishments. Recognizing his or her genius will make you sound very wise. Also, emphasize that you have a burning desire to work for that particular firm, even if you’ve blanketed the western hemisphere with your resume.
  • TIP: When answering questions about yourself, work in words that were used in the job posting—organized, detail-oriented, a multi-tasker. You’ll sound like a perfect fit!
  • Step 4: Wear a professional, well-cut outfit (borrow if you have to) and invest in a good pair of shoes. Fair or not, appearances count.
  • Step 5: Dress according to the field to which you are applying; research shows that interviewers look more favorably on candidates who look like they’d fit in with the office culture.
  • TIP: If you're a woman meeting with a man, don't apply fragrance. Research shows that male interviewers react unfavorably to female candidates wearing perfume, especially a strong one.
  • Step 6: Speak quickly and confidently. People who talk slowly and use fillers like “um” and “you know” are perceived as having a lower IQ, according to one study.
  • Step 7: Research the company you’re interviewing with beforehand. Decide which one achievement of yours best fits the company's profile and goals, and be sure to play it up come interview time.

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