A reader writes…
I have an important interview tomorrow for a job I really want to get…. Any final “clues,” Anita?
Dear “Need A Clue,”
Tomorrow’s the big interview, huh? Have you done your homework and researched the company? Are you planning to go to bed early tonight so you feel well rested?
Okay, I know. I’m supposed to be answering the questions, not asking them!
For a slam-dunk interview, let’s get back to basics on general rules of etiquette:
Rule #1: Never slouch in your seat. Sit up straight, and show poise and dignity.
Rule#2: Make eye contact. I know you’re nervous, but looking at the floor is impolite while speaking to someone… anyone. Employers want to know that you’re confident in yourself.
Rule #3: DO NOT chew gum. This is disgusting (and unpleasant to look at in most public situations).
Rule #4: Dress appropriately. Many people dress too casually for interviews. You should wear something professional that gives a good first impression.
Rule #5: LISTEN to the interviewer. We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason! You should do double the listening and keep your mouth shut when appropriate. Employers want good listeners.
Rule #6: Don’t talk too little… or too much. Prepare answers in advance as best as possible. If you say too little, it will be difficult for the interviewer to get to know you. On the other hand, you don’t want to ramble.
Rule #7: Ask questions. Typically at the end of every interview, you will be asked, “Do you have any questions?” “No” is the WRONG answer. Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the company and have done your homework. That said, do not let the first question out of your mouth be, “How much money will you pay me?” The time for talking about compensation should come later.
Rule #8: No slang
Rule #9: No swearing. Really? Did I have to remind you of that one?
And for heaven’s sake…
Rule #10: No begging. I know you really want the job, but let your skills and qualifications shine through… not your desperation.