By Luda Nodelman President and CEO of Yablon & Associates Staffing and Recruiting
Have you ever left an interview smiling and happy with the great feeling knowing that you aced this interview and this job is as good as in your pocket only to learn afterwards that you came in second and someone else was offered your dream job? And this happens to you again and yet again until you begin to second guess your skills, background and the competition. Interviewing is a skill which needs to be mastered just as all other skills on your resume. It is very important to remember the unspoken interview etiquette whether you are interviewing for an intern or the CEO position.
Now it is your turn to “ go for the Gold “ , here are the interviewing tips to help you get through an interview process and finally be THE one:
Research, research and research
I cannot stress enough the importance in researching the company in what they do and specialize in, latest news and the person(s) who will be interviewing you. The more you know; better prepared you will be; hence more intelligent your answers and questions are. In today’s day and age, there is simply no excuse; just laziness. Even if you think you know it all a quick 15 minute browse through the firm’s website will put you in advantage and maybe just maybe you might catch the latest news. Now that’s impressive…
Arrive early for your interview
Arrive at your interview destination at least 20 minutes earlier. Find a place close by such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc where you can look at yourself in the mirror and say “I look great”. Calm down and one last time do review your resume. You are probably thinking I know what is on my resume but the truth be told many times the feedback I receive from the hiring manager is that the candidate could not elaborate or explain certain areas of their resume. Now that’s embarrassing!!! Remember you only have one chance to make the first impression, there is no second chance and there is no dress rehearsal. Review the job description, yes again.
No discount for early birds
Make sure you go up for your interview at a set time and not earlier. People who are interviewing you usually run on tight schedules and they may not be happy that you are early and of course there are some that might be impressed with your punctuality. So, I ask you why take a chance, be there when you should and not 5 minutes early.
Which brings us to the next area, make and have several copies of your resume with you. Many times I heard from the hiring managers saying that the candidate did not bring their resume with them. Job seekers; this might very well be a test to see how prepared and what your organizational skills are.
Gentlemen: Dark suit, light shirt, tie and under no circumstances white socks. Dark socks only and please do not make assumption that it is fine to come to an interview dressed business casual if that is how you dress for your place of business. Take a vacation day if necessary. Remember that first impression comment.
Ladies: please no above knee skirts and no bare legs, make sure your shoes are closed toes. This is not a fashion show but an interview if you want to be taken seriously. No crazy hair and loud make-up, such as purple eye shadows and red lipstick.
No more than 7 pieces of jewelry for her and 5 for him and earrings count as 2. As for men earrings count as way too many.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please make sure you do not take a shower in perfume or an aftershave. Little will take you a long way.
I simply cannot stress enough about the firm hand shake and an eye contact. Please make it a point to remember a firm hand shake. It is very important to have the person who is interviewing you at “hello”, which also will set the mood for the rest of the process. Don’t sit until you are motioned as to where you should sit, don’t cross your arms and legs, eye contact 70% of the time. No fidgeting.
You DO NOT hate your boss or ex-boss. You are a team player and loyal to your current and past organizations. Remember all that research you did for your interview, you must have prepared questions. It is very important to ask questions, which shows your knowledge and interest. Don’t lead the conversation and only answer what was asked of you, don’t offer any extra information. That’s asking for trouble.
It Is Never Ok
Double, triple check if your phone is off, not on silent, not on vibrate but off. Some phones vibrate very loud and I am actually guilty of a loudly vibrating phone. It is never ok to check your blackberry and I don’t’ care if you are the CEO, so don’t ask. If you are offered water, coffee or asked if you need to use the bathroom always say no, unless of course, it is an emergency. Remember you arrived to your interview 20 minutes prior, refer back to “Arrive early for your interview” section and had time to take care of your personal and hygiene needs.
Thank you Thank you for your time, thank you for taking time, a follow-up with the thank you note within 24 hours is very important especially if you are interviewing for the sales or marketing position. I had candidates who did not get jobs in sales, because they failed to follow-up.
Luda Nodelman runs Yablon & Associates for several years with a client base that includes most major financial institutions. She comes from a major financial institution background where she ran a large division and was responsible for overall project management from user discussion groups to project architecture to quality assurance – in addition to being responsible for the hiring of employees and consultants for specific projects.
For more info visit www.yablonassociates.com
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