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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Interviewing Tips

Interviewing Tips By: Robin Hicks Relax. The interviewer is often just as concerned with impressing YOU as you are with impressing him/her. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. At most medium-to-large organizations, if you are interviewing for a real vacancy, you should allot time outside of the scheduled interview hour to complete any necessary applications. Bring business-related magazines with you to read while waiting. It’s very impressive for an applicant to be seen reading Fortune, Forbes or BusinessWeek (or a magazine related to the industry) while waiting. What is NOT impressive is a candidate who has nothing to read or who whips out the latest issue of US magazine! Treat the receptionist/greeter with the utmost cordiality and respect. It helps to pretend that he/she is the person who will make the hiring decision. People often make the fatal mistake of treating corporate receptionists with disdain, and that can backfire dangerously. I used to ask our receptionist to report to me on how she was treated before I would keep interview appointments. If a candidate was rude or treated her in a demeaning manner, a “meeting” would mysteriously appear on my calendar and I would cancel the interview. Prepare, prepare, prepare!!! Fifteen minutes invested in researching the organization goes a long way toward impressing the interviewer. Even if it’s simply downloading the latest press release from the company Website, preparation puts an interviewee in a very positive light. When I was interviewing candidates, nothing turned me off as much as the feeling that an interviewee had wasted my time. Questions like, “So what does this company do, anyway?” are a dead giveaway. At the same time, don’t over-prepare. This is a tough line to walk, but it’s just as bad to appear to be a fanatic or obsessed with the organization. Try to strike a healthy balance between interested/admiring/intrigued and “cheerleader/stalker.” The recently signed New York Yankee player from Japan, who reportedly said “This is the only organization I’ve ever wanted to play for,” is not a good example! Go into the interview with the assumption that you will be seen by the world’s worst interviewer. This will help you to both prepare and relax. In my experience, 85% of interviewers are not skilled at conducting selection conversations. Candidates should practice steering and managing the conversation themselves, so that the presentation of favorable information is under their control. Display a mature sense of humor. In most cases, evidence of a healthy sense of humor is a big plus, unless it is apparent that the company has an extremely serious or formal culture. This can be another tough one to determine sometimes, and candidates should feel out the atmosphere before dipping their toes in the humor pond! When you arrive (15 minutes early, of course), ask to use the restroom. This will give you a few minutes to check your grooming and attire, wash your hands, freshen your breath with that “trial size” bottle of mouthwash you always have in your briefcase, freshen your cologne/perfume, etc. Also, look at yourself in the mirror and practice that “confident” smile. Three minutes in the lavatory can really help “set” your mood and demeanor. Finally, keep the contents of your “Job Search Kit” in ready supply. I always make sure I have the following in my briefcase at all times: wetnaps, facial tissue, a “trial size” mouthwash or breath spray, cologne, a nail file with “cleaning” tip, an extra pair of pantyhose, a small combination brush/comb, personal business cards, two extra resumes, a folio with a blank notepad, a “premium” ballpoint pen and/or mechanical pencil, Post-it notes, paper clips and masking tape for removing stray bits of lint from my clothes. This may sound like a lot of stuff, but it really doesn’t take up much room at all.

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