1. Look Fantastic. You Feel Good when You Look Good.
2. Be Early and Be Rested. Preparation begins the night before and ensuring you get enough sleep to be able to be your best the next day. The discipline to go to bed early is where most people fall down. They get up… are not mentally on their game and try to make up for it with aggressive take control “acting”. Instead, get enough sleep. Be fresh, eat breakfast and be ready to meet whoever is going to be interviewing you.
Do not be too early. Showing up an hour early is inappropriate unless you are trying to catch a plane. 15 minutes early is impressive. Do NOT expect to get seen early ever. And never have an attitude if you are seen late.
3. Be Nice. The power of pleasant needs to be noted. In today’s text filled, device plugged in world, it is more and more rare for people to be pleasant face to face with people. Nice gets noticed. Be nice to the receptionist, the security guard, the assistant, the person in the elevator – EVERYONE. People blow their chances before they even get in to see the interviewer by behaving poorly.
4.Be Prepared. Have something to take notes with. Do not sit and transcribe like a court reporter though – this makes you seem unable to decipher between the important issues and everything else. It also makes you seem creepy.
Be ready with the questions you would like to ask but be mindful that this is an interview you are attending not conducting. Ask questions ONLY that you really are interested in getting the answers for.
After you have asked and the interviewer starts to answer – LISTEN. Do not start considering how smart you sounded while asking the question, we can tell when you do this and you smile and nod and blink your eyes while you are busy talking to yourself inside your own head and are not listening to us as we answer. We now think you are not very people smart.
5. Have a Fantastic and Respectful Attitude. It is easy to stand out with a great attitude. Interviewers are generally extremely perceptive of the mood you carry with you. They are also usually only interested in considering candidates who actually are in a good one.
The interviewer does not owe you anything. You need to earn the position that you are applying for. Never forget this, as talented as you may be, getting ahead completely alone is near impossible.
The friends you make early in your career can be extremely helpful later. Be humble and willing to start wherever you have to. You may have been raised your whole life being told that you are “special”. While this may be true, thousands of other jobseekers just like you have also had the same experience.
Having indifference is one thing that you should not bring to a job interview. Many candidates show up to job interviews and unfortunately tell the interviewer that they are simply here to find out if they are really interested in the position.
Show your enthusiasm for the position, if you do not want to accept it after it gets offered to you – thats your call. One exception to this rule is if you are aggressively being recruited, then indifference is acceptable, if its real. But if you are job hunting, indifference should not exist.
6. Be Honest. Lying on your resume will not help you. Lying in your interview will not help you either. We can tell when you compose and make up answers or experiences. It is actually really easy to figure out if you are genuine or not.
A LOT of interviewers have this as one of their most important pieces to discover. It is surprisingly easy to stand out by being pleasant and honest. Skills can be taught, integrity cannot be taught.
As an interviewer I am interested in determining someone’s level of competence and commitment but also their relationship with honesty, more than anything else. Skills can be taught to a willing student, honesty, ambition and work ethic can not.
7. Tell the Amazing Truth. What are you truly proud of? Talk about that.
It can be involvement in a sports team or an extra curricular activity that went well. It can be a performance from school or a volunteer experience…. What are you proud of?
It can be dedicating yourself to even simply finishing your degree and graduating. Be real. Be brief, but be real. Real and genuine mixed with pleasant and present – a pretty winning combination.
If you feel you don’t have a lot to put on your resume in this category – change that! Volunteer somewhere locally, enroll in a class you want to take, Join a team that fuels this pride. You know what makes you feel proud – do those things, have them in your life.
Successfully Interviewing isn’t about pretending to be who you are not, or fooling the interviewer, it is about being honestly confident about who you already are. Getting past the interview is just the first step. The Amazing truth exists and everyone eventually sees it.
8. Be Present. The power of actually focusing and being involved in the interview 100% is also noticeable. Turn off all of your technology before going in – do it in the lobby.
Multi-tasking used to be something smart to say in an interview as a skill, today ability to be focused is more impressive. Practice your presence. This is one of the rarest qualities among people today.
Do not allow your mind to wander or work on anything else except the actual conversation you are having. Really listen, think and really answer questions. We can see when you are trying to figure out what you think we want to hear. Be present, be confident, be proud and be yourself.
Remember, this is not about looking present, it is about being present. Staring intently wide eyed at the interviewer does not make you look present – it makes you look like a psycho killer.
9. Watch Your Body Language. Smile. Have a great handshake at the beginning and the end of your interview. Be patient. Tapping or moving your foot back and forth shows your impatience. So does nodding uncontrollably. Relax, and follow your interviewers lead. Remember – they have the lead, not you, not here (unless you are being recruited aggressively) Don’t be too casual.
Leaning back in your chair too far, sitting with your legs too far apart isn’t impressive – it is disrespectful. This is not your office. You attempting to get more comfortable here than the interviewer will get you eliminated. This is not an ego contest, it is an interview. Make eye contact, don’t look around judging the environment you are in, it is impolite. Sit up straight, be comfortable.
10. Be Appreciative. How you finish the interview and leave the office matters. Saying “thank you” to your interviewer and to the person at the front desk makes a difference. Smiling at the other candidates makes a difference. Holding the door for someone makes a difference. Being polite in the restroom makes a difference. Taking a phone call in front of people makes a difference. Put everything else on hold while you are at your interview.
Send a follow up email to the person who interviewed you and thank them for their time.
The interview process may seem daunting. However – employers are looking for those who will make their companies better and for candidates who will help them hit their goals faster. Be clear about what you genuinely offer and don’t mess up your chances with terrible people skills.