Let’s face it; to get hired today in a very difficult and competitive market can be a daunting task. In a perfect world, I wish everybody who submitted an application and went for a job interview would get hired. Of course, we all know that it’s not possible but if you arm yourself  with the right job interview preparation tips you can easily place yourself far above any other applicant when it comes to the actual job interview.

Here are 5 important job interview preparation tips to stand out as an excellent candidate for the position:

1. Don’t look desperate. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re at their job interview is to look desperate instead of cool, calm, and confident. It’s understandable that you want this amazing job opportunity but if you look or come off like beggar on a street corner you’re going to miss out on your big chance to get hired today. Instead, keep your composure and give the impression to the interviewer that this is a very important opportunity for you but your life does not depend on it. Simply maintain professionalism and exude confidence with your body language while letting your qualifications speak for themselves. Preparing for job interviews starts with keeping everything in perspective and maintaining your composure without looking desperate.

2. Don’t appear arrogant. While we are on the subject of trying your best to not look like you are desperate, by the same token, don’t appear as if you are a “know-it-all” who shows no humility.  No matter what your accomplishments are, give them the impression that although you are very proud of your achievements and not just anybody could have accomplished them, that you are a modest person.

No one likes a person who brags and carries on about how he or she did this or that without letting the interviewer get a word in edgewise. There’s a difference between a job  candidate explaining how he or she  solved a crisis within their previous company and a person who continues to ramble on about how the company could not have survived without their service.

3. Come prepared. Of all the job interview preparation tips available, this is one that’s easily overlooked out of excitement and nervousness. Did you conduct any research whatsoever about the company before trying to get hired today? You can easily do so by looking at the company website and even by networking and personally asking questions. Have you practiced answering common interview questions with the help of a friend or family member? This type of role playing can work wonders for your confidence level.

Many job applicants miss out on a golden opportunity when a job interviewer asks what they think about this or that as it relates to the company. Preparing for job interviews involves being able to give the impression that you have done your homework, you will greatly impress the people conducting the interview and increase your chances of getting hired.

Have an idea about how the open position matches your skills, qualifications, and experience. If you don’t have any experience in a certain aspect of the job opening, be prepared to let them know how you plan on being able to be up to that particular task associated with the job.

4. Don’t appear nervous and/or fidgety. To have a chance to get hired today, you need to place your feet flat on the floor and avoid shaking your leg up and down. While you’re at it, leave the chewing gum at home! It’s perfectly natural to be nervous during an interview but if you are trembling with fear, that’s a different story. With a little practice and a lot of preparation, you will see your confidence level rise tremendously.

If you bomb on your first few interviews, take them as a learning lesson, learn as many job interview preparation tips as possible and resolve to making sure you will be more prepared the next time. Most people get this “stage fright” and the feeling of butterflies but it does fade away with more experience and time. A good tip or trick here that may help you is to pretend you don’t need this job that badly and there are plenty of other jobs, even if it’s not true!

5. Ask questions when asked to do so. If the interviewer asks at the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions?” there is no reason why you should not have at least one question to ask, especially since you have conducted so much research about the company. Failing to act here can cause the interviewer to get the impression you are not that excited about the position and you just want the interview to end or that you are not as interested in the job as previously thought.

Preparing for job interviews is the key to success; if you go in there unprepared you may be setting yourself up for failure unless you are one of those few people who are so personable they can just wing it! Get hired today by being prepared and acting in a composed and confident manner.