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Interview Etiquette: 7 Tips On Landing That Job!

February 18, 2010

This topic has been talked and blogged about over and over again on the internet, but I deeply felt the need to discuss this again because I know more and more people are out of work and vying for the same positions and hundreds of others.  So, what can you do to stand out?

I have a theory.  Landing a job is more than sending resumes, wearing the perfect interview suit and having minty breath during the interview.

To me, and for me, what worked when I owned my business and hired people was that little something special and it could have been anything.  Anything from an extra sense of politeness, a sense of self-confidence and wit or simply knowing the lyrics to an old school song.

What I mean is, you’ve got to make a connection.  The connection has to be on a personal and professional level with the person that is hiring you.  Honestly, the marketplace is filled with HR and hiring managers who rifle through thousands of resumes and if you look like just another piece of paper or emailed resume spam, then  you have sunk before you even had a chance to fly…or float.

So, here’s my advice about getting a job.  It worked for me as an employer and employee and I hope it works for you.

  1. What Can W.O.M. Do For You?:  Mother always said that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and I have found that to be more true as I get older.  People looking for jobs are often asked to give personal and professional references.  Why?  Why would they trust a strangers comment about you?  Simply because ‘Word Of Mouth’ works every moment of everyday and in almost every situation.  We believe the opinion of others.  Think of the last time you read something, was it recommended by someone else?  Did the recommendation get to you via someone elses mouth?  The same goes for you, as well.  If you know someone who works for the company you are trying to work for, do your best to get them to mention you to the person in charge of hiring and have them vouch for you.  They already have their foot in the door and you may be able to squeeze with them into the next room.
  2. Do Your Homework:  Don’t be average.  Be Excellent.  Do your homework on the company you are interviewing to work for.  Find out what you need to do to be the new link in their chain.  In these modern times, it’s bad practice not to do the research.
  3. Be In This Moment:  Nothing says, “Please do NOT hire me” like not being in the moment in an interview.  If you really want this job, it’s best to show up and be there, physically and mentally.  Wondering thoughts are more evident than we’d like to think.  Stay ever-present and engaged with the interviewer.
  4. What BodyLanguage Do You Speak?  Along with being in the moment is the spirited or sad song of your body language.  Wondering eyes, along with those wandering thoughts I mentioned earlier, are signs that you don’t really want the job.  Keep down the figits, the foot tapping, wiggling and pen clicking or tapping.  Do what you  have to do before the interview to make sure you are in a calm and focused state of mind…and body.
  5. Take Those Clothes Off:  Not literally.  I mean, you should dress nicely for the job interview.  Can you ever overdress?  Yes.  I suggest  that you keep your clothing comfortable, yet stylish.  Don’t wear things that are so tight or ill-fitting that you will be uncomfortable and distracted during the interview.  Comfortable clothing does not mean sloppy clothing.  Do wear slacks and shirt or blouse and skirt.  Safe and simple business casual   clothing is the best option.
  6. The Classics:  Always follow the classic etiquette of having clean nails, fresh breath and a hint of perfume or cologne.  Keep your hair styled, shoes unscuffed, teeth brushed.   What you are bringing to the company should be on display in the interview.
  7. The Follow-Up and The Follow-Up:  For a job that is important enough for you to go after, it should be just as important to follow-up with a Thank You note to the person that interviewed you.  Always follow-up immediately after the interview.  Send and email if you like, yet I prefer that  sending a handwritten Thank You card via regular mail.   It has worked out for me in the past to send a card.  Then, follow-up again about a week later to check the status.  Even if you do not get the position, you might impress in the mind of the person who interviewed you and may be offered another position. 

 Besides, job interviews are like auditions.  You may have to attend a lot of them before you land your role.  Make each one count!

Seriously M.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 19, 2010 8:12 am

    Great post and a good reminder of the fundamentals.

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