When it comes to interviewing for jobs, appearance matters, and first impressions are crucial.
Interview do’s and dont’s
Dress for success: No matter what the job entails, treat each interview as a possibility for promotion. Dress in business-type attire. Don’t over-do your make-up or hairstyle. Simple and direct sells more than sloppy or careless.
Body Language speaks volumes: Stand up when the interviewer comes into the room. Shake hands and smile. Sit erect in your chair, head high, chin up during the interview and don’t fidget. Develop a commanding presence, one that lasts after you leave the room. Be confident and pleasant. Don’t tap your foot or your fingers, drum the desk or show any sort of nervous behavior.
Avoid overused words: Like, and, an this, all are words that are overused on a daily basis. Steer clear of saying “umm” and “you know.”
Practice in front of a full length mirror. Watch your posture, your facial expression. Where are your hands? How are your feet placed? Are your shoes tied? You would be surprised at the number of people who walk into an interview room with shoelaces untied.
You don’t want to be rigid, you want your movements to be fluid and unforced. But that does take practice.
Listen to the interviewer. Don’t rush your answers. Keep eye contact, and don’t interrupt the interviewer, Don’t take too long to answer. Give thought behind your statements. Don’t blurt things out because you might be nervous.
Show your leadership capabilities. Several years ago I was interviewed for a company that is now one of the leading cell phone companies in the United State. They were looking for management material. During the last interview (there were five) they posed a trick questions.
In order to appear easy-going and amiable, I chose the friendly approach to these scenarios. Instead of showing I was capable of making management decisions, I decided to remain everyone’s friend. Later on, this decision returned to haunt me. They chose someone else for this position and then sent me a letter as to why.
Treat each interview by being prepared. Do your homework beforehand. Research the company and make up questions you believe you might be asked during the interview. Be tough on yourself, Don’t make these easy questions. Be ready for the difficult questions that serious interviewers will throw at you trying to catch you off-guard.
Talking to much denotes nervousness and can turn people off to what youy are truly all about.
Don’t be negative: Don’t talk bad about your past or current employer don’t spread gossip about the company. If you can’t say something nice, the rule of thumb is say nothing at all, even when you are asked.
Be discreet when talking about your current salary. Employers take this issue very seriously. Many employers will tell you after you are hired, not to talk about your salary or paycheck with other employers. So during your interview keep this in mind when the question comes up and be respectful but discreet in regards to answering this one question.
You already have made an impression with your cover letter and your resume. Somehow, you were able to set yourself apart from the other candidates and get your foot in the door to be interviewed. Keep your focus, don’t get nervous and present yourself in the most polished way possible.
However the interview ends, always follow up with a handwritten note, thanking the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. This leaves a favorable impression, because these days seldomly do people reach out with the personal touch (resorting either to email or a phone call). Make an impression when you arrive, and leave another impression several days later.