The New American Dreamer: At Last, The Interview
The first alarm goes off and just as you are about to hit snooze, a second, louder alarm goes off and it might be then that you remember me saying what a good idea it was to set two alarms the day of your big interview.
Having laid your clothes out the night before and with at least three copies of your resume in a nice folder or briefcase along with those same two working pens from our past story, you’re ready to go. And of course you have the address and phone number of the interview location written down on a piece of paper, because the night before you went online and found directions to the company.
As you make your way to the interview, stay relaxed and avoid cramming last bits of information into your head. The time to get your game face on is before you leave the house not right before you enter the building. Be confident, smile at those you see along the way, and leave those voices of self-doubt at home.
Arrive early. I cannot say this too many times. If you are late you will reduce to nearly zero your chances of even being considered for the job. Being late for an interview is always unacceptable – but it happens, so if it does, apologize to everyone once as you arrive and once as you leave. No more or less. After that you will need to blow them away with the interview itself, but don’t keep mentioning your tardiness.
When you walk through the door remember to feel confident that you are the right person for this job because you are. Make certain to look people in the eye when conversing and when seated be comfortable in the chair without slouching.
Now come those questions we rehearsed. Piece of cake, right? Be yourself when you answer but remember to be the best possible self you can be. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic about the opportunity, but always be sincere. Hiring managers are pretty good at sniffing out insincerity.
Another important point that I mentioned in my story about phone interviews, is that your listening skills are a crucial component of what people think of you. Staying calm will help. This is why staying calm helps so much. It keeps you looking confident but it also prevents you from anticipating answers and interrupting.
When the interview is coming to a close, make sure you have that one question ready when they ask: “Do you have any questions for us?” If you have other questions you can add those too, but remember to know the difference between a question and a concern. Don’t bring up “concerns” yet such as pressing on issues dealing with pay, vacation time, or holidays because you can always deal with these when an offer is made as we will discuss next time. For now keep questions pertinent to the position and focus on getting the job. It’s much better if you can show your insight into a position by asking a truly pointed question about the workflow, strategy or process involved.
When the interview is over thank everyone – and I mean everyone, including receptionists and doormen. Smile and shake hands when necessary and as soon as you get home fill out that thank you and send it off. Mention something particular about the process that you appreciated in the thank you message, and remember to thank the interviewer for his or her time.
Now make sure your phone is on at all times and start daydreaming about being employed there. Remember when I last spoke about daydreaming? Seems like an age ago now doesn’t it?
Jason Veduccio is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at email@example.com.