Interviews: Before and After Tidbits
In the fall I attended a conference where we (all fellow forensics coaches) were asked to give one “super power” we have as part of our self introduction. WAY better than answering what your spiritual animal is…yeah, I had to answer this at a conference once too…awkward.
Of course my “super power” is super crazy good hearing. I regularly shock students during group work activities when I randomly chime into their conversations from my desk at the front of the room. The looks on their faces are always priceless.
So back to making this post relevant: One thing I’ve learned in my adult life is to always remember that you never know who might be listening to that seemingly insignificant conversation you’re having with someone in public.
This directly relates to how you act before an interview-BOOM, relevant to your career! Super power #2…the ability to tie a seemingly tangent story into a relevant topic. Thank you, teaching!
In my classes I like to share my, “Ms. A-isms” and when I talk about organizational communication I always talk about the importance of what you communicate both verbally and nonverbally before an interview.
As soon as you walk in your interview has started.
You might think it’s harmless to sit down and call your best friend and have a conversation about the crazy things you did that weekend or about your plans after your interview, but the office assistant is probably within earshot and you don’t know whether or not they are going to be asked about your behavior before the interview. Don’t think it happens? Ask around, it does.
Your nonverbal communication (your body language, eye contact, posture, etc.) is important to be aware of as well. If you’re nervously pacing around or refuse to make eye contact with the office assistant who greets you, that can communicate a lack of self-confidence or disregard for people’s feelings and hurt you when it comes to getting the job.
My advice, think to yourself that the interview starts the minute you wake up that morning.
Think about it, you never know who you might run into at the coffee bar near the interview location, and if you’re bad mouthing your old boss on the phone or acting rude to the barista, someone from the company you’re interviewing with could over hear that and report back to the interviewer.
My “Ms. A-ism’s” for interviews are as follows:
Show up early, no more than 15 minutes early but no less than 5 minutes early. In my opinion, more than 15 minutes early is trying just a little bit too hard and 5 minutes early leaves too little room for error.
- Have your resume printed out (at least three copies).
- Have your cell phone turned off before you walk in the door. Yes, OFF. Painful, but worth it.
- Greet the office assistant and take a seat and wait patiently. If there are magazines in the waiting room refrain—your choice of magazine could reflect a little bit about who you are. Just sit and wait patiently.
- Engage in small talk with the office assistant if they initiate it, otherwise go over your resume and practice your introduction silently.
- When it’s time to interview, walk in, shake hands with the interviewer(s), take a seat, make great eye contact, and be confident.
- When the interview is over, shake hands with the interviewer(s), say goodbye to the office assistant on the way out and wait until you are out of the building to reach into your bag and grab your cell phone.
- Wait until you are in the privacy on your own home to go over the interview in detail with your best friend. There’s no need to go over it in public, you never know who’s listening in.
So those are my tips as related to interviewing and listening. Do you have any interviewing tips? Or, better yet, do you have any super powers? Share!