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Mind Your Business: Going Presidential With Your Job Hunt

Mind Your Business: Going Presidential With Your Job Hunt Credit: Photo Credit: Karl Tate

Mitt Romney may not be part of the "99 percent," but he does have one thing in common with an awful lot of regular folks – he's looking for a job. In fact, Romney and the rest of the Republican candidates are on what is essentially the world's longest job interview.

And while Romney and his fellow candidates may have made a few missteps – "I'm not concerned about the very poor" might have been better said – the presidential candidates as a group offer a few good lessons on how to deal with looking for a job.

Know your stuff. Presidential candidates spend a lot of time preparing for debates and polishing answers to every possible question. You should do the same. Study up on the company and be ready with questions specific to that company's business model. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than a candidate who has clearly put some thought into the interview.

Dress the part. Ever noticed how much attention gets paid to how the candidates dress. Candidates give a great deal of thought to their tie color and the message it sends. You should give careful consideration to your look, too. No matter how casual the workplace, the care you take to prepare yourself for the interview will communicate to the employer how much you want the job. Always err on the side of over dressing.

[5 job interview questions you should be prepared to answer]

Stay on message. Before you go into a job interview, remember what it is you want to communicate to your prospective employer. If you know your message going in, you'll be able to weave you answers throughout the interview and leave them with the impression that your personal "brand" is solid.

Avoid touchy subjects. Presidential candidates are adept at avoiding answering complex and sticky questions. You should do the same. If an interviewer asks you why you left your last job, avoid explaining in detail why you couldn't get along with your fellow employees. Instead, talk about why you think this job would be a better fit for you.

Keep it brief. Presidential candidates have to make sure they can answer any debate question in the allotted time. It's a skill job interviewees should hone. Most interviewers can pay attention for 30 or so seconds before they'll start to lose interest in your answer. Make sure you practice keeping your answers short enough to be engaging, but detailed enough to be complete.

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