Are you a recent graduate about to start interviewing for your first real job? Have you been in the workforce for a while now and looking to do something different? Well, interviewing is part of this process. As simple as it seems, there are certain things that will help you make a better impression with the company you are interviewing with. Positive impressions are more likely to get you the job. So, Northeast Consulting Group, Inc. decided to take a look at this artice3 from Nancy R. Mitchell about having proper interviewing etiquette.
When you are going into a company for an interview, your attitude and behavior towards others is just as important as your resume, your previous work experience3, and your innate abilities. Today, more people are too worried about the look and appearance of their resume rather than their manners. What people don’t realize is that companies that are hiring aren’t just concerned with a resume, but finding someone to be a part of their “business family.” They look for things like: courtesy, respect, trust, and reliability. These are the foundation of good relationships which translate to success in business.
Here are the top 10 things that you should avoid when you’re going in to interview for a job.
1. There are no “do-overs” in first impressions
You make a first impression with 5 seconds. When you’re interviewing for a position, you are given a little more leeway. But, that time to make your first impression with an employer happens within your first 30 seconds. This means that you’re on stage the second you walk into the building where your interview is being held. You never know who is around. You could be walking in with a representative in the company or in the elevator with them. The first thing you should do is turn off your phone before you arrive. There is nothing worse than introducing yourself to someone only to hear your phone start ringing from a call, chiming from a text or email, or vibrating loudly in your pocket. When you arrive, smile and shake the hand of the person who is there to greet you as well as the person who escorts you to your interview. When you enter the interview room, make an impression! You need to have enough enthusiasm and energy to mask your nervousness.
2. Avoid wardrobe malfunctions!
Always dress up and conservatively for a job interview. Whether the job is at a corporate building, a fast-food restaurant, or a relaxed environment, your goal should always be to dress to impress your employer. When you were growing up your family probably told you to dress up for holidays, to go visit family, or for a big family occasion, right? The reasoning behind it was to show respect. It’s the same concept when you go in for an interview. How much you “polish up” shows the person who conducts your interview that you respect them and the interview process.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile
No matter how “sharp” someone may seem on paper, they need to match that in person. Going into a 30-40 minute interview with someone and not flashing a smile can hurt your chances of getting a position. Your employer will be distracted by wondering what is wrong with you rather than being able to conduct an effective interview for you. A smile shows confidence and an overall pleasant personality. It makes people want to get to know you and be around you. When you’re interviewing, you’re not just going in to get a job, you’re about to enter a business family.
4. Body language speaks volumes
Employers will judge your interest and attitude in a position through your body language just as much as from what you do, say, and what is on your resume. The right thing to do during an interview is to sit up straight and have your feet on the floor. Many people think that a “relaxed pose” shows confidence, but in reality it shows a lack of respect or interest in the position. Also, pay attention to where you put your hands, DO NOT have your hands on your lap under the table, you’ll look nervous. You should have one arm on the rest of the chair or on the table. Just as important as your body language is your eye contact. You should face the person who is speaking with you and maintain eye contact. If you’re a someone who struggles to sit still, hold a pen or pencil if that helps you control it.
5. Mastering the art of “Meet & Greet”
How you greet someone reveals a great deal about your confidence, attitude, and overall demeanor. Learn how to give a GOOD HANDSHAKE. You should always stand for a handshake in business and give yourself space from the person. Maintain open posture, smile, and make eye contact. Also, don’t forget to say your name!
6. Use your interviewer’s name
The sweetest sound that people here is their name. So, us the person who is interviewers name when you meet them and when you leave. You don’t need to sprinkle their name in multiple times throughout the interview, but you should remember what it is.
7. Table Talk
After you go in for your interview, always stand behind the chair and wait to be asked to take a seat. Never place your personal items on the table; you should always place them under your chair or beside you. The only thing on the table should be a portfolio if you have one and a pen.
8. Your phone should never ring
If you have somehow forgotten to turn off your phone and you’re unfortunate enough to have it ring during an interview, you have to do some serious damage control. NEVER answer your phone, simply reach down and turn it off! Then apologize sincerely. At this point you have to show why you are the top candidate for the position so that your lack of preparation for the interview is not what your interviewer remembers.
9. Exit Strategy
When the interview is completed, always reinforce your interest in the position and thank your interviewer for taking time out of their day to meet with you. Make eye contact and shake hands with your interviewer and use their name when you tell them goodbye. If possible, thank the person who greeted you when you arrive as well. This simply, is just good manners. You should have a smile on your face until you are completely out of the building, in your car, and on the road to go home!
10. Post game play
Write a small thank you note to your interviewer within 24-48 hours of the interview. It shows good manners, interest in the position, and that you’ve appreciated the time they have taken out of their day to meet with you for your interview. During your interview make sure you show your people skills. When your interviewer likes you, they will “pull” for you to do well. They will even answer your questions more thoroughly and even relax around you. All of these things will help you to succeed in your interview.
All of these tips are not intended to say that a strong resume is not important, but it’s a way to give yourself the edge over the other person interviewing with you who didn’t take as much care in preparing for the interview as you did!