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6 steps for landing your dream job
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Rothberg advises doing this for about a week, scheduling as many interviews as you can, staying at a hostel or YMCA if you're low on cash.

Having these meetings lined up will keep you busy, says Lester, and will show you what it's like to get up early and travel in that city. Getting out during commute time shows you how long it takes to get from point A to point B.

It also helps to talk to people you meet in grocery stores and coffee shops about what it's like to live and work there. "Be of the mind-set that 'I live here,'" Lester says.

6. Infuse passion -- and truth -- into your interview answers.
So far, you've thought hard about your goals, dabbled in your dream career, networked with contacts in the field, built a better resume and scored that all-important job interview.

Now, you just have to handle yourself well. No pressure.

Prepare to handle background questions -- especially if you lack the proper degree for the position -- by emphasizing relevant projects and ways that you've helped a company achieve success.

"Degrees are becoming more and more important, but that doesn't mean you can't discuss your other accomplishments with the employer," says Baker. Demonstrate how your contributions produce ideal results.

Moreover, remember this is your dream job -- show some enthusiasm! Some people who are obviously qualified for the job come into the interview appearing glum, says Lawler Kang, consultant and author of "Passion at Work: How to Find Work You Love and Live the Time of Your Life." "You can tell they're good at the job but they don't love it."

As someone who has hired many people, he cites "passion for the position" as the most attractive quality in a candidate. While your prospective employer might not rank enthusiasm so highly, it couldn't hurt to be the lone sunbeam amid dark clouds.

Enthusiasm ties right in to the classic interview question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

If you're interviewing for your dream job with your dream employer, tell them that, says Baker. Mention that it's always been your dream to work there. Of course, do your homework first and see what the company's needs are in terms of growth, so your enthusiasm makes sense to them.

If the job is more of a stepping stone in your career path, answer differently, she says. Answer in a way that conveys your desire to be a productive and engaged employee, one who will help the company reach its goals while growing as a person.

Whistle while you network
In the end, landing a dream job requires guts. That means going beyond the computer monitor and the newspaper classifieds and networking in person whenever possible.

Networking doesn't have to be a formal interview. Extend your personal web by telling people you meet about the industry you hope to break into. Who knows? They just might know somebody who knows somebody.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: Feb. 24, 2006
More stories by Leslie Hunt
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