Congratulations! After weeks and weeks of networking, submitting resumes, and making numerous follow-up phone calls and emails, you’ve finally been granted an interview. Now what? First and foremost, tame your potentially overly-abundant enthusiasm and anticipation. As the salesperson travels along the sales cycle, and finds his or herself closer to the sale, you’re closer to a job offer and acceptance…that’s all. If you’re overly enthusiastic, you become anxious and nervous…and you diminish your cognitive ability…meaning, that, you’ll most likely not answer those interview questions as you would have liked. And, you may be perceived as being desperate…not to your benefit.
Best thought to keep in mind…like most parts of the country, in the Kansas City-area, the employer holds most of the cards and leverage. You, as the job candidate, have to play along…as much as you may take issue with inexperienced interviewers, lack of response to your questions, failure to respond to a follow-up call or email, and, fickleness. Today’s intentions and plans for hiring, may be tomorrow’s past…employers tend to change their minds.
Otherwise, if you want to knock the cover off of your interview, here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Do your homework. Read the company’s website. Google for news. Get on LinkedIn, and contact your connections, or 2nd level connections, and find out what you can about the company….its trends, its culture, its competitive advantage.
• Arrive 5-10 minutes early…no more. Any early arrival may send a message that you had the wrong time…or, that you’re anxious (i.e. “desperate”)
• If time permits, strike up a conversation with the receptionist, and develop a bit of a rapport. First, you may pick up valuable information. Secondly, that receptionist may provide a first-impression favorable comment or two to your interviewer.
• Bring an extra hard copy of your resume….and, a supplement with more detailed information of your skills and experience. Look for an opportunity to present it during the interview, based on the flow of the conversation.
• Always, always let the interviewer lead the questioning…never try to exercise control….or allow the interviewer to believe that you are.
• If in doubt, overdress…you’ll never be faulted for such.
• Maintain direct eye contact. Use a firm handshake. Smile. Look for opportunities to laugh. You’ll act and feel more confident. People like to hire people who are confident…but not arrogant.
• Leave the interview with the answer to the question, “What happens next?”
• Mail a hand-written thank you note the day of the interview.