Laura Decarlo: Hi! I am Laura Decarlo, certified interview coach and President of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International. I am sharing strategies for planning to ace your job interview. Right now, I am going to give you some pre-interviewing tips that are often neglected, but play a critical role in setting yourself up to succeed in interviewing. Specifically, these are the little details that you take for granted, such your outgoing phone message, timely follow up with employers and presentation you will make with how you dress and present yourself. From the moment you send out your first resume, you are in interviewing mode and must act like it. To be successful, you should position yourself as an entrepreneur. Imagine that you have established a company called You Incorporated, as the owner of You Inc. you want your company to succeed. Therefore, you are prepared to respond to a customer, if necessary, 24 hours a day. Your customers are the employers who will interview you, and who you need to impress with your timely, thoughtful, professional and knowledgeable responses and interview answers. Your product is the skills and values you offer an employer, which you are selling them, to land you the job offer. Interview success is all about great first impression. So how can you succeed? First, let me talk about the telephone. You should set up a professional outgoing voice mail message. This is not the time for dogs, kids or entertaining comments. This is an important part of the impression you'll make to a prospective employer. You will want to check your messages at least twice a day, so you can respond to an employer as quickly as possible. Now, let me talk about your transportation. If you live in an area with public transportation, this is not an issue. But if you drive to or drop off for an interview, then you need to prepare. All employers assume that you have taken steps to make your first best impression during the interview, but some realize they may gain a more realistic view of you by walking you to your car. So this is simple, clean your car. You don't want fast food wrappers giving away the real you to an interviewer. If you were dropped off, be prepared to assure an employer that you have reliable transportation. Finally, let me talk to you about what to wear to the interview. You should have a minimum of two professional outfits by the time you begin interviewing. This is important because you might have multiple interviews. However, when you plan for what to wear, it is important to realize that this powerful first impression can be hurt if you under-dress, or overdress. An important part of deciding what to wear, is understanding the company's culture. You can learn this by physically viewing employees entering the building, sometimes by visiting the company's website, or by speaking with members of your network who are familiar with the company. Once you know what employers are wearing, the rule of thumb is to always dress one level above what you have seen. In other words, just because staff is in jeans you should never dress that casually for an interview. Depending on the culture, you might find yourself wearing a suit or trousers, and a shirt, or simple blouse and skirt. A few other strategies which will help you to make a positive first impression include, avoid clothing that is too short, tight, revealing, flashy or distracting. Choose solid colors as you want the focus to be on you and what you have to say, not your clothes. Remove extra jewelry; woman should opt for one to two rings per hand, one necklace and a simple pair of earrings. Men should keep jewelry very simple. Make sure your hair, nails, any facial hair are neat and clean. Hold back on heavy colognes or perfumes. Carry only one bag such as a briefcase or portfolio; polish your shoes. People do notice your shoes and they are an important part of your impression. Now that you understand how the little details in preparation can make such a difference, I will share with you strategies that will have you position yourself as a knowledgeable, eager and interested expert about the target employer.