By Sarah Baker Andrus
For most of us, the thought of looking for a job is just plain scary. Aside from the nausea caused by just thinking about it, even confident people worry about how they’ll come across. How can I show that I’m qualified? Will anyone give me a chance? Will they like me?
The GOOD NEWS is that interviewing, like most other things, is something you can learn to do. All it takes is a few hours of preparation. Is “social anxiety” plaguing you? No worries! Take a look at the tips below, and watch those butterflies fly away.
So, have you filled out those applications? If you have, then your phone is going to start to ring, because you’re awesome, right? Once you hear those magic words, “We’d like to have you come in for an interview,” here’s what you need to do:
Take a breath and say “I’m so glad you called, can I ask you to hang on just a minute?” Now, calm down and grab a pen and paper. This is the information you should get:
Once your interview is scheduled
Think about what you’re going to wear – first impressions are important! Borrow or purchase anything you need to look and feel your best. Remember: Clean, neat, and simple is best. Avoid perfume and cologne, flashy or unusual colors, and anything “trendy.” If you’ve got the time, do a dry run to the office at the time of your interview. Remember, 90% of life is just showing up (Woody Allen), 100% is showing up on time. Think about what you want to gain from working – it’s not just about the money. What skills do you want to build? What kind of experience will help you grow? Answering these questions now will help you approach your new position with the right attitude.
What to expect from the interview
Interviews can have different structures. An interview at a deli will be different than an interview at a real estate office. Sometimes you’ll be interviewed by several people, or you may be interviewed as a group with other candidates (common practice when a company is looking for a lot of people.) The key here is to go with the flow. One of the things you’re being judged on is your flexibility. You may be presented with a lot of information. If you don’t want to get lost, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Do NOT rush in with your questions about the job. That displays a “what’s in it for me” attitude. Not a good idea. Take notes. This shows you’re on the ball. Make a note of anything you don’t understand. When the interviewer says, “So, do you have any questions for me?” check your notes, and ask your questions. Be prepared to answer questions about your education, your interests, and your experience. Your answers should include things about you that show you are qualified for the job. (Check back for an upcoming article on the most common interview questions and how to answer them!)
Now, you’re as ready as you’re going to be. You should be feeling pretty confident, and a little nervous. If you’re not nervous at all, you’ve got an unreasonably high opinion of yourself, and you should take it down a notch! An overblown ego is just as likely to tank an interview as shyness.
Make sure you are freshly showered, use anti-perspirant, shave, primp, brush, fluff, whatever you have to do to look your best. Now, brush your teeth. Brush them well. Take a breath mint. Nothing kills an interview like bad breath, that is, except B.O., which brings us back to that anti-perspirant. Leave plenty of time to get there, and plan on arriving early. Greet everyone you meet with a smile and a handshake. Be polite and friendly. You never know who might be asked for an opinion about you after you’ve left. That clerk you just blew off may have a vote on whether you get the job.
Okay, I’m going to interrupt here for some important information ABOUT YOUR HANDSHAKE…
If you get sweaty, clammy hands go to the rest room, rinse your hands with very hot water and dry them thoroughly (some people even carry a small baby powder dispenser, and apply it several minutes before they enter the office.)
GUYS: If you are going to shake hands with a woman, for heaven’s sake shake her hand! Don’t grab her fingers, or squeeze them, or offer your fingers like a dead fish. YUCK!
Male or female, when you are shaking someone’s hand, go right in for the “V” between the thumb and forefinger. Your grip should be firm, but not vise-like. One or two pumps are all that’s needed.
Make direct eye-contact as you go for the shake and hold it for a moment. Say your name and “good to meet you,” or “nice to meet you,” and smile
If none of this sounds familiar to you, PRACTICE with friends and strangers now! Ask them how you did. Repeat until you’ve got it down.
You need to know how to do this!
Where were we? Oh yeah, the interview…
Here’s the part where you listen carefully, take notes, and answer questions. At the conclusion of the interview, it’s fine to ask about what happens next. When can you expect to hear back? Do they need anything else from you? If you are offered the position, make sure you understand the pay, how and when you will be paid, what you will be doing (e.g. a typical day), and what is expected of you, before you accept the offer.
CONGRATULATIONS! Whether you were offered the job or not, interviewing is great experience, and you’ll get better every time.
|Vector Marketing Sitemap Contact|