College To Career With A Buzz: Part III.
- Its ‘an interview not an interrogation. If you land an interview, treat it as an opportunity to establish a professional relationship and network with the interviewer. Know the employer, and be prepared to ask intelligent questions. Engage in discussion with the interviewer, and don’t be shy about letting the interviewer understand that you are knowledgeable about the employer or much you desire the opportunity. Be enthusiastic.
- Research the company prior to the interview and, when possible, on the individuals that will be interviewing you. You’ll be much more confident, comfortable, and make a better impression when you know what the company is doing and how you might fit in.
- Rehearse. Try to anticipate the types of questions you will be asked, and practice your responses. If you lack experience or feel uncomfortable in interviews, find someone to do a mock interview with. Like any other skills, communication skills get better with practice. You may think you have a perfect answer in your head but, you won’t know it until you actually articulate it.
- Have your game on from the start. In this age of security cameras, you may be recorded from the moment you hit the employer’s parking lot. Carry yourself as if the employer is watching you from the outset. Dress the part. Be friendly and respectful to everyone you meet. Stay focused. Leave your phone in the car or turn it off.
- Make that first impression count with everyone you meet. Do all the things you were taught as a kid regarding meeting an elder or a person of authority. Stand up straight. Look them in the eye, smile, and extend your hand for a firm handshake. Be positive. Stay upbeat throughout the interview. Do not let the interviewer’s expressions or tone of voice take you out of your game. Don’t assume that your answer was wrong or that you have blown it. Stay confident. If asked about a perceived negative, do not make excuses or provide elaborate explanations. Give it one sentence, and move on. Remember that there is no perfect candidate. Be yourself. I’ve seen many candidates put on a facade, land the job, and become very unhappy, very quickly.
Buzz Smith is Sr. Curmudgeon and VP Consulting Services OPI National Outplacement. OPI National Outplacement and Career Transition Services Located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Buzz can be reached at 865.531.9154