Being selected for a job interview is a success in itself. Although it doesn’t guarantee that you will land the job you’ve applied for, it puts your fate into your own hands.
So you made the Human Resource manager’s shortlist? Great! Now don’t bottle your chances. Even if you received a short notice for the appointment, use each second you have to prepare for that important moment. Climb the ladder and place yourself at the very top of the other candidates. Be smart and make an impact.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS:
Christopher Lasch, an American social critic, moralist and University of Rochester professor who died over a decade ago, said it in nothing more than seven words: “Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”
Do you have bad breath problems? Make sure to tackle that first. Of course, don’t chew gum during an interview. It comes across disrespectful. You can instead rinse your mouth with Listerine or whatever works for you to remove the bad smell before the meeting. Yes, bad breath is a total turn off and can lead to the interviewer concluding the interview very quickly.
Do you have a tattoo? Hide it. An office space is not the place to showcase that. Take a look at Canada’s charismatic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The raven tattoo on his left arm doesn’t see the light during political assignments.
Do you have piercings? Not everyone is a fan of that. Your interviewer may find it disturbing to look at you.
Basically, dress formally with well ironed clothes. Look clean, smell good but don’t go too hard on makeup, perfume (some offices have allergy rules) or earrings that makes noise every time you turn your head! Not Professional!
BE ON TIME & MIND YOUR MANNERS:
Arriving 1 or 2 hours in advance will make you look so desperate. Try to arrive at the office 15 or 10 mins before. Look up on Google Maps for directions and plan your schedule accordingly to overcome the misery of being stuck in traffic.
Be nice to the Receptionist. In truth, this is where the interview begins. HRs work hand in hand with receptionists. You never know if they’ve asked the receptionist to study your behavior.
For example: You shouldn’t be making phone calls, commenting on how big the place is, or having your eyes fixed on your device checking social media timeless, etc. Be polite and professional. Use that moment to calm your nerves regain your confidence.
When your time arrives to walk your way to the interview room, make use of “small talk”. You can make a kind comment on the structure of the building and interior design or talk about the weather. Avoid taboo topics: anything linked to news headlines on politics, religion, sexual orientation, sports (yes, sports because you never know if your HR hates or loves the sports team or personality you’re going to talk about).
When asked if you want to have something – water, tea or coffee – always say YES and always go for water. That’s just about what you’ll need to calm your nerves and create time during the interview for deep breaths to free up the energy flow to your brain. Another way to use drinking water as interview technique, by taking a sip as your strategize before answering the toughest questions.
WATCH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE:
Make eye contact with the person you’re talking to. If there are two or more people in the room, look at the person who asked you the question, glance at the other person(s) in the room and end your statement by looking at the person who asked the question.
Don’t talk too much. Give complete but direct answers with great example of your proven success or opportunities in failures in your professional careers.
Seat up straight, not with crossed arms or cross leg, you need oxygen to have a free flow through your body. Speak with a clear voice. Try not to stutter, or to have a shaky voice or redundent pauses each time you answer. This is why it helps to rehearse out loud before arriving. If you are not too sure of how to go about this, make sure to check the five tips that could transform you into an ideal candidate!
When you’re done with the interview, ask for the contact cards of the interviewer(s) if they don’t give them to you first. After receiving the cards, don’t just put them in your pocket right away. Have a look at the name, the number and title. Show that you are interested in networking with them.
THE CAFÉ TIP
Finally, you may not have the chance to go home right away after an interview session. However, you can pass by a cafe, seat, breathe and – refresh your mind – note down all the questions and answers that were produced during the interview. Look at them objectively. This will give you a clue of how well you did and the chances you have of being hired.
Go back home, send an email to thank your interviewer(s) and keep your head up with positive mind, that you nailed the interview and the job is yours. Lastly, remember you dress for the job you want, not the job you had.
by: Angela Asante
Featured Image by: Robert Servias