A job interview is serious business. Even if you have heaps of experience, and your résumé has been polished until it shines, a rocky interview can dash your chances of landing your dream job. There's no good way to anticipate what questions you'll be asked, or whether or not you'll hit it off with the interviewer. But there are tools that can help you prepare -- and lower the chance that you'll put your foot in your mouth. Put these seven smartphone apps to good use and they could help you ace your next job interview.
Monster (Free) – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
Monster is best known as a job search tool. But the Monster app (available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry) can do more than help you land that job interview; it can help you prepare for an interview, too. The Pre-Interview section of the app is packed with helpful advice and interview strategies, including tips on how to conduct pre-interview research, ask the right questions, and use proper follow-up etiquette. The Monster app also lets you practice answering common and difficult interview questions to help you hone your answers ahead of time. Additionally, the app can offer advice on how to dress for your interview, and automatically send you reminders as the big day approaches. [50 Job Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer]
Google maps (Free) – iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Even if you intend to arrive at your interview location early, construction and traffic delays can leave you running late. To avoid a commuting catastrophe, use Google Maps (available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone) to guide you to your destination, even if you already know how to get there. The app offers more than turn-by-turn directions; it also shows local traffic conditions in real time, using data collected by other motorists using the service. A route that's backed up with traffic will be displayed in red, while a clear route will be shown as yellow or green. And if you hit a traffic jam, you can discover the quickest alternate routes with just a few taps. Once you're on the way, toggle on voice-guided navigation so you can keep your eyes on the road and get to your destination safely. And if you rely on public transportation to get where you're going, Google Maps can give you step-by-step directions for that, too.
Trunk Club (Free) - iOS
They say to dress for the job you want, but that's a tall order if you're clueless about clothing. A sharp outfit can make an impression during a job interview, but if fashion isn't your forte, an app like Trunk Club (available on iOS) can turn your wardrobe around. The iPhone app can connect you to a personal stylist, who will ask you about yourself and your style goals. Your stylist will load up a real trunk filled with clothing and ship it to your house for free so you can try it all on. You keep – and pay for – only what you want. But the beauty of the service is how it helps you select professional clothing you may not have picked for yourself. The Trunk Club iPhone app is only for men, but StitchFix is a similar online service for women.
How to Tie a Tie (Free) – iOS, Android
Can't remember the last time you wore a necktie? Tying a tie isn't hard, but it can be tricky if you don't do it often – so don't wait until the day of the big interview to teach yourself. The How to Tie a Tie app (available on iOS and Android) can help you practice by walking you through the process of tying a variety of knots. First, select what kind of knot you want to tie from a list of more than 20 common knots. Then give the app a bit of information about yourself, such as your height, weight and body shape. Finally, simply flip through the animated step-by-step directions that will show you how to tie your tie. You can even flip back to the previous step any time you need a refresher.
Job Interview Question-Answer (Free) – iOS, Android
What would you say is your biggest weakness? With this smartphone app, it doesn't have to be answering job interview questions. Job Interview Question-Answer (available for iOS and Android) can coach you toward better answers to common interview questions, such as "Why do you want to join this company?" and "Tell me about a time when you failed." To use the app, select a question category, then pick the question you want to practice. Next, watch a short 1-2 minute video that explains what kind of answer most employers are looking for. Then you can record your best answer for each question and save the audio, so you can re-listen and practice all the way until the day of your interview.
Calendar (Free) – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
The fastest way to bomb your job interview is to not show up. A big event like a job interview is hard to forget, but don't take any chances – use the calendar app on your smartphone to set a reminder. Just about every mobile device has a built-in calendar application, but don't just type in your interview information and assume you're good to go. Be careful to enter your interview on the correct date, and at the correct time. And check the settings in your calendar app to make sure that notifications are turned on. Most calendar apps can provide advance notifications, alerting you a day or more in advance, and then alerting you again on the day of your interview.
Mirror (Free) – iOS, Android
Good grooming can leave you looking your best for your job interview. But sometimes you need a last minute touchup. If you forgot your compact mirror at home, don't worry. Your smartphone's front-facing camera can turn the device into a high-tech mirror for last-minute makeup fixes – or just to help make sure you don't have something stuck between your teeth. A digital mirror is even better than its analog counterpart; the Mirror app (available on iOS, Android) lets you zoom in for a closer view, and adjust the exposure of the image so you can get a good look even in low lighting.
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Originally published on Business News Daily.