You have an interview coming up, and you really want this job. This isn’t just a trial run or a practice, and this isn’t an opportunity you have mixed feelings about, or one you might consider if nothing better comes along. This is a dream job, and when your moment in spotlight arrives, you intend to be ready. Your interview outfit is cleaned and pressed, your schedule is cleared, and you’re focused on simple moves that can help you make a positive first impression. Try these.
Your phone is made of lava.
As you approach your interview destination, start thinking of your phone as a charged object; a little thing that’s imbued with social significance. How you hold it and what you do with it can speak volumes about you. So, each time you reach for it, stop. Think. Do you really need to play games or check your texts at this moment? You probably don’t, so keep your phone tucked away and silenced until the interview ends. Resist the urge to fiddle with it while you wait in the lobby, and don’t touch it or answer it while you’re interviewing. Don’t place it on the interview table. Don’t look at it while you’re talking. Just put it away.
Show up early, not on time.
Of course, you shouldn’t be late for a job interview. But to be on the safe side, aim to show up at least 15 minutes early. You can always occupy yourself or grab some coffee if you arrive before your appointment begins. (Remember not to leave the cup on your interviewer’s desk).
Dress for success.
A generation ago, interview clothing choices were simple: a suit or nothing. But these days, suits aren’t the only option and they don’t always play well in an informal workplace. If you’re a man, it’s fine to choose a button shirt, tie, slacks and high-quality shoes. For women these options will also work, and so does a dress-cardigan combo or a professional blouse and skirt. No matter what you wear, choose new, pressed, impeccably clean and impeccably tidy (meaning no loose threads or signs of wear; this includes your shoes).
Be happy and present.
Classic interview tips always include the word “smile,” as in: “Smile while you shake your interviewer’s hand.” This is valid advice, but there’s more to projecting confidence, grace, pleasure and appreciation than just a smile. Don’t simply show your teeth; that’s awkward. Instead, focus on how good it feels to be here, how excited you are about the future that lies ahead, and how interested you are in the person (or people) who might become your new bosses, co-workers or friends. This is a beautiful day and a remarkable time to be alive. Enjoy your interview! The smile will take care of itself.
For more on how to ace your interview and land your dream job, contact the team at Extension.