Here we are standing outside the door of the office waiting to be admitted into that job interview. To get here we have journeyed for 6 weeks and by now should have done all the preparation necessary.
Now is the time to put it all together and walk through the door and take the next few steps on the Job Quest.
At this point, if you have been reading our Perfect Gentleman articles for some time, you should know what we are about to say… you have less than a second to make a first impression. You will be judged on how you are dressed.
We would always suggest you wear a suit, shirt and tie. Keep the colour combinations calm and the suit simple. Make sure the shirt is ironed, the suit pressed and your shoes are polished. Keep your accessories subtle, your fingernails clean and your hair neat.
This will show respect and even if you are going for a job where normally you would not be expected to wear a suit, it is always good to show that you can. Also, the person interviewing you at this point might not be in your department or field and they will be judging you by their own criteria.
You never know what might happen, as one young graduate found out during his interview, the CEO popped along ‘to sit in’ and was impressed enough to hire him on the spot.
Timing is Everything
Always be early. We suggest that you are at least 15 minutes early for your appointment. Judge the time well and check the transportation information regularly so you can avoid problems. We always get there much earlier and have a cup of coffee round the corner, so you won’t’ be in any chance of being late.
If you have an option of picking your time for an interview, aim for mid-morning. It is generally the best time for people, they are alert, not stressed by the day and can travel to the interview outside of rush hour. If you can get a breakfast interview that is also good. Try to avoid Thursday or Friday afternoons as the lure of the drinks or weekend is calling.
You will be judged on your appearance and part of that is your Body Language and attitude.
As soon as you enter the room smile, make eye contact, shake hands and greet them professionally and happily. Only take a seat when you are offered one. When you sit down, sit upright and comfortably. Keep your hands gently on your thighs and move them when you need to for influence in your conversation. If you need to calm down at any time, breath several times in and out through your nose.
Finally, if you are feeling a little nervous, before you even go into the interview you should practice some Power Poses. Professor Amy Cuddy, of Harvard, did some research on the success of these poses on interviews and confidence and they work. To find out more watch here Ted Talk here and here and more about the poses here.
There are many other tips and tricks to build quick rapport that you can learn, if you need to. You can also get the full picture on a course, such as ours.
You will be asked a number of questions, as with everything Perfect Gentleman related a little preparation goes a long way. There are several, reasonably standard questions that you will be asked, such as:-
Tell Me about Yourself
What are your Strengths? Weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself in X years?
Why should we hire you?
What makes you want to work for this company?
There are variations on those questions, but they will come up in some form or another, and you should be ready with answers that are tailored to you and the company or job that you want.
Usually there will also be a ‘left-field’ question such as “what animal would you be?”. Do have a thought about those questions and make sure you answer honestly, but also with an eye for what you have shown so far in the interview.
Always have a question or two ready for the Interviewer, you will have researched the company, so make sure they are smart and interesting questions but within the capacity of the Interviewer. There is no point asking in depth financial questions of the head of HR.
Answer questions succinctly and clearly. No one word answers, or rambling ones.
Be Positive, even about the former boss whom you hated.
Always be enthusiastic, interesting and interested. Be an active listener to the questions and anything the Interviewer says.
When you have finished your interview, whatever you feel the outcome. Say thank you to the interview and thank them for their time.
When you get home, either send a handwritten note or, if you must, an email to say thank you for the Interview. Do not say anything else about how it went or desire for the job. Just say Thank you for their time.
This one thing alone will make you stand out from all the other people.
One final thing to note is that the interview is like a date, you will be judged on how you treat everyone. It should go without saying that your interactions with the receptionists, the secretaries, other employees and even the janitors should be as polite, charming and professional as you can manage.
Next week we continue the quest with how to Follow Up and next steps…