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1. Ask them upfront why they wouldn't hire you.
The interview is coming to a close, but make sure you stick your landing, says Roberta Chinksy Matuson, President of Human Resource Solutions and author of Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. "Always end the conversation with the following question: 'Is there anything about my background that gives you concern?'" says Matuson. Now you've bought yourself a bonus round to derail any doubts.
2. Prepare sound bites.
Successes and skills need to be displayed clearly. "A sound bite is succinct and direct, catchy and easy to remember. An example is 'I've designed logos for three Fortune 500 companies,' or 'My efficiency plan decreased product-delivery times by 15 percent without costing the company one cent,'" says Charles Purdy, senior editor and career expert at Monster.com. Implant these one-liners in your brain, and you won't be grasping for words.
3. Ask for homework.
Until you're hired, you're an unknown to your potential employer. You sound great, but can you perform? Erase that question by asking for a trial assignment, suggests Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs. "Ask whether there's any job-related task that you could do for them that would allow you to showcase your qualifications and maybe even save them a little time," says Sutton Fell. Do a good job, and you'll be getting paid to do the same work soon enough.
4. Mirror your interviewer.
You might feel like you're in the hot seat, but if you can match your interviewer's speed of speech and mannerisms, you'll both feel more like you're old friends and less like you're in an NCIS interrogation room, says Ken Sundheim, CEO and Founder of KAS Placement, a New York City-based staffing agency. Not sure how you're doing? "If you're following their tone, speed...