Interview preparation 102
This is a follow-up to my previous post “Interview preparation 101”.
I read a very interesting article today on CBS Money Watch “9 tips to prepare for a job interview” and it is just the perfect list of things to do RIGHT before you walk in through the doors of the place where you are interviewing. I have summarised the main points here but you can follow the link above to read the entire article.
Check Twitter one last time.
Presumably you’ve done your due diligence prior to heading to your interview — Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, the whole social media shebang. On your way in, tap on Twitter and the company’s website one last time to see if there is any company breaking news you might be able to relevantly reference.
Check yourself out, too.
Especially if your appointment is after lunch, find a mirror and do a quick stain/spinach-in-teeth check. So simple, yet so often forgotten in the well-intentioned desire not to be late.
Respect the front desk.
The security team or receptionist isn’t just a gateway into the office, he or she may be a pseudo-spy for your boss-to-be. Act as if anything you say or do will be relayed to your interviewer. Part of showing respect means finishing any cell phone conversations before you enter the building and turning off your ringer.
Use the bathroom beforehand.
If you’re traveling a longer distance, try to leave time to use the ladies’ or mens’ room. Having to take a bathroom break during your meeting will make you seem unreliable and disorganized.
Scope out your competition.
Being aware of the people around you and your surroundings from the time you enter the building until the time you sit down across from your interviewer can give you clues that you can use on the fly. “If they seem older than you they may have more experience. Be ready to talk about the quality rather than the quantity of your work knowledge.”
Check out the scenery.
Part of being aware of your surroundings is noticing what’s on the walls, in people’s cubicles, and in the lobby. This can give you nuggets about the company that can’t be found with Google.
Get your mind revved up.
Ever feel like you settle into an interview after a few minutes? That doesn’t go unnoticed. Take five minutes in the waiting room to review an index card with key points or an inspirational quote to make sure you’re operating at 100 percent the moment you sit down.
Organize your grand entrance.
An interviewer is not a surprise situation — you know you’ll probably be in a waiting room and that at any moment you’ll be called in. So be ready, pare down what you’re carrying and leave a hand free to shake.
Smile like you mean it.
Of course you automatically smile when you introduce yourself — you’re a reasonably socially competent human being, right? But the thing is, when you’re nervous, you may simply be breezing through the motions and a half-hearted effort can leave a bad first impression. So smile purposely, with confidence and with every person you meet.
The last point I feel is very important, with a confident smile and a firm handshake with your introduction, you can set a positive tone to the rest of the event.