5 Mistakes Job-Seekers Make

Don't be pessimistic. This is true not only in any job-related conversation or interview, but even privately. Even though it seems there's little to be hopeful about given rising unemployment and underemployment, measured optimism is essential as you face each day. Optimism alone won't get you hired, but great skills and pessimism will keep you unemployed. In the search process, camaraderie and character can sometimes trump credentials, so the right attitude is essential.

Don't let interviewer ask all the questions. Even though you'll spend most of your time selling yourself in an interview, don't cede all the decision-making to the other side. You've got to evaluate the prospective employer too.

Two questions you must ask: Why is this position vacant? (Maybe someone was promoted from within, which could be a good sign. Or maybe turnover is a huge concern. You don't want to find out on day one that you're the fifth person in six months to sit at that desk.)

The other question: If you could change one thing about the culture of this department or company, what would it be? (This is a polite way of asking what's wrong with the place without being rude. It will offer you valuable insights.)

Tory Johnson is the Workplace Contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and the CEO of Women For Hire. Visit her Web site at www.womenforhire.com.

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