The culmination to all of your job-hunting efforts is that first job interview.
Some companies like to do a preliminary screening over the phone before scheduling an interview. As long as you are honest and professional during the initial screening, you should be able to get through to the interview phase.
Remember the interview process often consists of three or four rounds of interviews with a wide variety of people. How you conduct yourself in your first interview is just as important as how you conduct yourself when you are in your second interview with the departmental manager.
There are things that every employment candidate needs to do to give the perfect interview.
If your interview is at 2 p.m., then show up no later than 1:45 p.m. A company will usually have paperwork for you to fill out before the interview and you want that out of the way before the interview time officially starts.
Arriving early is also your chance to impress the company receptionist with your professionalism and promptness. The receptionist will have a say in who gets hired from a “first impressions” standpoint, so be prepared.
When you walk through the door for your interview, you need to be completely prepared by having the right materials. They include:
a pad of paper
your own pens
copies of your resume
copies of your references
a place to keep the business cards you will be handed
The worst thing you can do is rely on the interviewer to give you a pen and paper. If you are not prepared for the interview, the interviewer is going to assume that you would not be prepared to come to work.
There is a difference between being professionally upbeat and annoying. Remain positive, always have a smile on your face and answer the questions you are asked in a prompt and positive manner. You do not need to overdo it when it comes to being upbeat at an interview, but you do need to look excited to be there.
When you are sitting down with the interviewer, he or she is going to expect you to have questions to ask. When you do not ask questions at an interview, it looks like you are not really interested in the position. Do research on the company and the position and have questions written out and ready to ask when you go to the interview. Keep the questions focused on the job you are interviewing for and do not ask any questions that will make the interviewer feel uncomfortable.
If the interviewer is late to the meeting room, he will apologize for being late. Accept the apology and move on. If the interview process means that you sit in a meeting room and wait as other people come in to talk to you, then take it in stride. The more time you spend in an interview process, the more interested the company would appear to be in you.
The key to giving a good impression is to be patient and take the delays that come with being interviewed in stride.
Jan Kantor is a Southwest Florida business consultant and executive coach. For more information, or to contact him regarding workplace solutions, his website is www.jankantor.com.