10 Tips for an interview
Show Up a few minutes before to get the lay of the land!
Interviews today are far and few between, so when you finally do get that phone call, you want to do your best to get that job. For the purpose of this article we will assume that I am your possible employer and you are the job seeker.
Always make sure you are on time for your interview, I am a busy person and I will not tolerate waiting for you to show up! If you show up 10 minutes early that will be noted, you can take that time to let your eyes wander, to see what is going on around you.
As a former Manager of a retail store, I can tell you a few things that I liked and also a few things that would get you a ‘Thank You for coming’ as I put your application to the bottom.
1. Proper Dress - No matter what the job is, when going for an interview, you should be dressed your absolute best. You want to make the best impression that you can. Your clothes should be clean and free from wrinkles. They also should be pulled up to cover the body parts. If you want to ‘sag’ on your own time so be it, I do not wish to see the color of your underwear. Your shoes should also be considered, wearing tennis shoes is not going to impress me.
2. Cleanliness - Throwing some clean clothes over a dirty body is going to make me wonder what other nasties you may be hiding.
3. Hair- Your hair should be well groomed, if you’re a man, your facial hair should be trimmed or as it is called today, ‘man-scaping’. It will show to me that you have care for your appearance. For a woman, those cute little ‘fresh out of bed’ hair styles are not going to impress me. If you want to wear your hair messy at home or when going out that is fine, but for an interview it is not proper. Your make-up should be appropriate, if you choose to wear any. I’d rather see no make-up than too much.
4. Greeting- I would like to be greeted properly, “Hi, My name is (insert name here), I have an (insert time here) appointment for an interview.” All this while reaching out to shake my hand and smiling. I want to see if you are friendly, if you will be working with people this will be important. Do not grab my hand like it you are drowning and I am the lifeboat, I do not want my fingers to be broken. I also want a firm handshake, I do not want to feel as though I am shaking a limp noodle. This tool is used for women as well as men, handshakes show me confidence.
I will be prepared for you and have your application at the ready. If you have a Resume`, that will impress me more. It means that you have taken the time to prepare for me.
5. Etiquette - DO NOT sit down until I ask you to. I will say to you “Please have a seat” shortly, but should you plop down in a chair and make yourself comfortable before I ask you to, this will make me un-happy. It is telling me that you are going to do as you wish on the job and what I have to say will not matter. When you do sit in my chair, after it is offered, please do it gently. Remember you are not at home, this is my furniture. Also keep in mind the things on my desk are just that, mine. Do not touch something that is not yours. I will not take kindly to you moving my things around
6. Language - When I ask you a question and a yes or no answer is applicable, I would like a clear answer. ‘Ya’ or ‘Nah’ is not appropriate, a clear “Yes or No” is what I want to hear. Your use of the English language is going to be important on the job, therefore you should practice it. Using words that are fine around your friends is not going to impress me. I do not want to hear any slang words, and certainly not any swear words. I will ask you questions where I would like a more detailed answer, and I will pick up on slang wording. Any word that is shortened to something else will be considered slang. I need to know if you can carry on a proper conversation
7. Confidence - I would like to see a little confidence for whatever job in which you are applying. If you have never done this before, that is fine, I may offer training. But I need to know that you are willing to learn. When speaking to me I do not want to strain to hear your words, speak up (without yelling of course). It is just plain rude for me to have to ask you to repeat yourself, because I didn’t hear what you said the first time. I will speak clearly to you, and should you have the need to say ‘Huh?’ please refrain from doing so. You may ask me “I’m sorry, Could you please repeat that”, but if I have to do it more than once I may get the feeling you aren’t paying attention to what it is that I am saying.
If there is something that I am saying that you do not understand, you may ask me to explain. But since we are in an Interview, if you aren’t understanding the questions I am asking, I may assume that you aren’t prepared for the job that I have to offer.
8. Boasting - Do not be overly confident. I do not want to hear of how wonderful you are. Your stories may make interesting tales to your friends, but I really do not want to hear them, I am a busy person that has set aside time to interview you for a job.
9. Cell phone - If at all possible leave it in your vehicle. If that is not possible turn it off BEFORE our interview. If you forget and it should ring - IGNORE it, do not pick it up and shut it off, unless it has an offensive ring tone. Then pushing the end button will please me, it tells me that you care about what I should or should not hear. Do not even for one second say “Just a sec, let me get this”. You may be told, “Of course you have plenty of ‘seconds’, since you don’t have a job.” If I have to answer the phone during our interview, that of course is perfectly acceptable, I have a job and as such. duties that may need attending. This will not be your ‘free time’ for wandering, do not talk while I am on the phone.
When to leave
10. When the interview is over - When I stand up and say “Thank you for coming, I have a few more interviews, then I will be making my decision”. This is your cue that the interview is over. Do not ask me at this time “Did I get the job?” You should at this time stand up as well, reach for my hand in a farewell handshake with a smile and say “Thank you for considering my application, I hope to hear from you soon.”
What I will do when you leave
After you leave I may speak with those you may have come in contact with, while waiting for our appointed time. If you were rude or treated others unwell I will know this. If you were pleasant or friendly with my staff, I will find this out as well.
You may call in a day or two to 'check up' on your application, this will impress me and assure me that you really want the job.
These are just a few tips that to some may seem mundane, but they will serve you well in making a good impression during that first interview. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Good Luck with the job hunting!
A fellow Hubber wrote this book - Very smart!
How to keep the job once you get it!
- 10 Tips for keeping a job
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