Relax. It’s not an interrogation. Its not uncommon for even seasoned candidates to break-out in cold sweat waiting for their turn and taking a moment to identify your uniqueness helps you win the meeting.
While the average interview lasts 40 minutes,
33% of hiring managers admit they make a hiring decision within 90 seconds
Personal branding is infact, your unique selling proposition (USP). Highly experienced candidates have an advantage of showcasing their personal brand through their evidence of public speaking, professional recommendations and articles amongst others. It is however, the more fundamental characteristic of ‘Interview Etiquette’ that sets you aside and gets you to the next selection stage. Etiquette is essential for an everlasting first impression, right along with. Everything about you, right from your Clothing, Eye contact, Domain Knowledge, confidence and body language gets counted to make that impression.
etiquette (ˈɛtɪkɛt,ɛtɪˈkɛt/) noun the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
Let’s focus on the simple Etiquettes in the interview process that can earn the employer’s trust. Tips on Pre, During & Post interview etiquette that significantly improve your chances.
Before the Interview
1.Confirm your appointment:Inform the interviewer about your arrival one working day in advance. Make sure you know the date, time and the exact venue of the interview. Try to note down the contact details of the interviewer in case of any emergency.
2.Rehearse: There are several questions that are guaranteed to be asked during an interview: “Why should we hire you?”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Why do you want to work for our company?” etc. Be familiar with these basics and practice answering these questions loud, looking in the mirror. This preparation will boost your confidence during the interview.
3.Research: Search the company’s website and get to know its key players, clients, competitors and their recent accomplishments. Find out the interview panel members and learn something about their recent publications or awards, if any. Kindly quote that information during the interview, like “I see the company has received the so-and-so award last month” and you will project the image of an ideal candidate.
4. Groom yourself: Employees always like candidates who look neat and presentable. Use a mouthwash; comb your hair, trim your nails; iron your clothes; wear clean and polished dress shoes; look your professional best.
5.Dress appropriately: Follow the dress code protocols of the company. If the company doesn’t have any, men can wear suits along with a classic tie and women can opt for any business attire.
6.Anticipate your paperwork: Collect the required copies of your resume, educational records, performance evaluations, references list, passport size photograph and all other necessary documents; organize them in a portfolio or briefcase. In case you need to take notes, have some writing materials in advance.
7.Don’t arrive too early or too late: It is always better to be early than late. Showing up late casts doubt on your reliability. In case of unforeseen circumstances, call ahead of time and inform your inconvenience.
8.Notify your presence: Once you are on spot, introduce yourself to the receptionist; offer your resume and wait for instructions.
9.Be available: If possible, clear your calendar free of any commitments. Keep yourself available for the whole day.
10.No cell phones: Don’t bring your cell phones to the interview. If you have one, just switch it off. Keep in mind. No vibrations!
During the Interview
1.A warm greet: Be pleasant, assertive and make a positive first impression. Greet each of the panel members by giving them a firm handshake followed by addressing them by their first name. Don’t give a handshake that is too firm or too limp; give a firm one.
2.Look and smile: Communication experts say that 80% of our communication is non-verbal. Build their trust by giving them an eye contact. I know you are under pressure and may be a nervous wreck. But trust me guys! A simple smile can project your confidence and leadership. You too will feel relaxed when you smile.
3.Body Language: Beware of your posture and stance. Always sit straight and place your feet firmly on the floor. Planting your hands on your lap beneath the table may project you as a nervous child. You can rather rest your arm on the arm of the chair or on the table. Crossed arms and legs may signal that you are closed-off. Try not to – slouch, fidget in your chair, wring your hands, use too many hand gestures. Always stand up and show respect when someone else enters the room. You can hide your nervousness by holding a pen/pencil rather than twirling your hair.
4.Slow and steady response: Talking too much is one of the most common mistakes during an interview. Be patient; the interviewer will feel annoyed if you talk-over without extending him the courtesy to finish his sentence. Listen carefully to every question and take your time to phrase your answers. If you are not sure what they are asking, never hesitate asking them to repeat the question. Don’t ramble on; be brief and provide only the most relevant response. Avoid slangs and one-liners. A strict NO to cracking jokes!
5.Take that water: If the interviewer offers you a glass of water, drink it, even if you are not thirsty. You can use this time to frame answer to any difficult question or just to calm you down.
6.Ask questions: You are signaling that you are uninformed or uninterested if you are not asking them any questions. Try asking about the corporate culture and the typical roles each position entails. Your questions should not be “Do you validate parking?”
After the Interview
1.Thank your interviewer: Signal the hiring manager that you are interested in this job by asking when will be the next step in the hiring process. Finally, thank him for his patience and his time he spent with you.
2.Interview is not over yet: A few hiring managers have the habit of watching candidates from their office window as they leave the building. Avoid doing outrageous things like lighting up a cigarette, spitting, leaning on the car and yapping on your cell phone for 30 minutes, chowing down on your sandwich and similar unbelievable stuff
3.Snail Mail: Follow up the interview by mailing a thank you note to each of the interview panel members within a business day. A handwritten note has a huge impact than a quick email.
4.Chalk up: Don’t dismay if you are not selected. Chalk it up to your experience. Your time will come soon.
The interview process can be a daunting one and the interviewer notices your each move. Hone your communication skills, Pay attention to details & Go prepared. Even if it means to 'Fake it until you make it!'
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