The old saying that you never get a
second chance to make a first impression holds true,
especially in the case of job interviews. After all
and hard work it took to land the interview, you'll
want to go in with your best foot forward. Make sure
you have your bases covered in these six critical areas:
1) Your presence.
Help the interviewer see you in the job by dressing
appropriately for the culture of the organization and
the position you're applying for. When in doubt, dress
on the conservative side.
During the interview, assume a posture that is neither
too relaxed and sloppy, nor tense or forward. Do not
Movements and mannerisms. Use natural gestures. No matter
how nervous you are, don't clench your fists. Avoid
fidgeting, scratching or playing with a pen, your glasses
or the change in your pocket. Steer clear of movements
that invade the interviewer's personal space, and try
not to appear stiff or awkward.
To make sure the interviewer can hear you, pay attention
to his or her reaction to your voice. Don't mumble or
drop your voice to a whisper towards the end of your
sentences. Avoid using a sing-song or monotone voice,
as these tones will give the impression that you are
over-rehearsed. Also, try to avoid slang and colloquialisms
such as "you know."
Convey the appropriate amount of enthusiasm, warmth
and sincerity to suit the dynamics of your interviewer.
Be positive, avoid negative topics and don't vent hostility.
Remember to smile.
Listen with full concentration and maintain eye contact
90% of the time - without staring. Indicate attention
and agreement with nods and smiles, avoid interrupting
and allow silence for thought and reflection.
Mirror the style and pace of your interviewer. Give
direct and credible answers but stop once you have answered
the question. Don't over-elaborate with details or anecdotes,
and try not to ramble or interrupt. If you don't know
something, say so. Clarify a question if you don't understand
it. Listen before you talk, and think before you speak.
Collect business cards from the people you meet to get
names and exact titles. Elicit company or departmental
needs early in the interview using open-ended questions.
Weave in your strengths and accomplishments in response
to those needs. Respond to doubts or objections positively
without being defensive.