Job interviews serve a number of purposes, not the least of which is an opportunity to engage the personality of the candidate. If hiring the best applicant was simply a matter of determining technical qualifications and prior experience, companies would simply collect resumes then offer the job to the person with the best one. I doubt this has ever been the case, organizations want to screen applicants in order to make a subjective decision as to their "fit" with the organization. Keep in mind that the company already has in place a process or structure - they are evaluating how you will mesh or integrate into their existing system. This may seem somewhat arbitrary or even unfair to some, but it is accepted and standard practice and a key component of the hiring process. From the moment that a candidate arrives for the interview, they are being scrutinized, evaluated, and judged. Often the receptionist will be asked for a first impression of the prospective employee or lobby surveillance or security monitors checked for impressions of body language, composure and demeanor. A bad hiring decision is expensive, time consuming and companies will go to extraordinary lengths to employ all tools at their disposal to get it right. Therefore, you as a candidate must be aware, prepared and “on" with your first step onto the premises.
The first thing that people can do to make a good first impression is to be on time. If you can’t be on time – be early! While this may seem like an obvious statement, some people still struggle with punctuality; several reasons may contribute to this, possibly misjudging distances, weather or a generally casual lifestyle of being late. This is the one time you need to change your approach and behavior. When people are late to an interview, it sends a message to the organization that this is how they can expect you will behave in the future. If people have to arrive early for an interview in order to avoid traffic, construction or because of their tendency for being late, then it needs to be addressed and corrected. When arriving for the interview, candidates must remember to be friendly, courteous, and cordial to everyone that they meet; this includes security personnel, receptionists, and assistants, even if those people are not part of the hiring decision. At the time of the interview the applicant should smile, present a "bright" and cheerful attitude, and give a firm handshake. Throughout the interview, the applicant should display some energy and enthusiasm, this doesn't mean that they should be fidgety or be in constant motion, rather, it means that they should do their best to display a professional, and almost controlled excitement when responding to questions and in discussing what they hope to accomplish in the future. In addition, applicants should anticipate questions that that will be asked, prepare and rehearse in order to respond in a natural manner and with confidence answers that reflect thoughtfulness and expertise. In addition, applicants must be prepared both mentally and physically for the interview, e.g. get a good night of sleep, have something light and healthy to eat, and develop techniques that help alleviate stress and anxiety. If you found this article helpful you can "subscribe" above and be notified of new articles from Terry or chat live: click here.
December 3, 2009