A job interview starts as soon as your phone rings. This means that maintaining a professional attitude, even when you’re at your house answering your personal phone, is very important. It could be a person from the interview panel phoning about the position you applied for. Remember, first impressions count. This will not only help prevent any potentially embarrassing moments before you go to the job interview, but will keep you in a positive frame of mind.
When You Get to the Interview
When you arrive, you may be asked to wait for a little while. Keep calm, and take the opportunity to go over your answers to some of the questions you think you might be asked. If there are books or pamphlets about the company in the waiting room, you may want to peruse them. You’ll look enthusiastic and interested, and it may give you additional background with which to discuss the company and the position. Don’t waste this time by listening to music or talking on the phone.
In the Waiting Room
Know the name of who you’re going to see, and ask for them by name when you enter. Making a good impression in the waiting room is just as important as when the interview begins. The opinions of the secretaries, receptionists and other employees often influence an interviewer’s judgement. A favorable or unfavorable comment by them can be a critical factor in helping the interviewer make a decision. So be friendly, polite, and courteous from the moment you walk in the door until the moment you leave.
The First Five Minutes
The first five minutes of your job interview often set the stage for the whole process. If you can make a good first impression, you’ll find that the rest of your interview will be much more enjoyable. Remember to greet the interviewer(s). Even though this sounds simple and straightforward, greeting the interviewer is something that many overly-nervous people forget to do, and it can go a long way. Also, don’t forget to smile. A smile helps you appear confident and can put both you and the interviewer at ease.
Unless your interviewer greets you by name, don’t forget to introduce yourself. Some interviewers will interview so many people that they may not know who you are, so introduce yourself and give them a firm handshake.
Remain standing until the interviewer asks you to take a seat. When you sit down, relax, but be careful to not slump or lean on the interviewer’s desk. In the beginning of your interview, you should be prepared to both make small talk, as well as talk about yourself, as most interviews will begin with questions centered on you as a person.
When speaking to your interviewer, make eye contact in a way that you would with a friend during a casual conversation. Also remember to speak in a firm, clear, confident tone. It won’t matter how great your answers are to the interviewers questions if they can’t hear or understand them.
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