By Joe Stein
The interview process can be an extremely nerve-wrecking experience for most job seekers. I don’t know of too many of us who are extremely comfortable talking about themselves for an extended period of time.
What I have decided to do in this edition of HR Matters is focus on simple tips that will either make a good 1st impression or relax you for the interview road ahead.
1. Be conscious of your schedule when committing to an interview appointment. It is extremely frazzling to race to an afternoon interview because your work meeting ran long. Give yourself plenty of drive time.
Remember that you want to arrive 15 minutes before your interview unless instructed otherwise. Arriving any earlier gives the impression you are desperate and arriving later indicates that you have poor time management. Take this 15 minutes to “schmooze” with the receptionist, it never hurts to be on her good side especially with smaller companies. Also take this time to observe the culture and the interaction between associates. Don’t forget to enter the bathroom and “touch up” your appearance if necessary.
2. If you have scheduled a morning interview then select your clothing the night before your appointment. Try out your clothing combination to make sure you are comfortable with the fit and style.
It is always good to have your clothing freshly pressed in preparation of your interview. This may sound crazy, but check your shoes. I know several interviewers who have commented to me that they always look at a person’s shoes to make sure they are buffed and clean. The moral of the story is gain every edge you can and make yourself as presentable and professional as possible.
3. You would hope that the individuals interviewing you are prepared and have their own resume copies. Do Not Assume This! Oftentimes, during multiple interviews, copies have not been made and the interviewer does not have a new copy in front of them. Also, come prepared with a list of references to be submitted upon request. Please make sure the resumes are of professional quality whenever you distribute a copy.
4. Practice your greeting and handshake on friends & significant others. This is a bias of interviewers that rarely generates attention. The impression made in the first 5 minutes of meeting someone oftentimes (and unfortunately) will make a lasting impact on the interviewer. Do not be afraid to make eye contact, small talk and respond with a firm handshake (if appropriate).
The purpose of this article is not to dismiss a person’s work history and qualifications during the interview process. Without these two “must attributes” you will not even be in consideration for an interview. However, why not give yourself every edge possible when competing for your dream job. The tips above will start you on the right path.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJOBS.com website visitors. It is not meant to provide advise with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.