Follow Barbara's do's and don'ts, and hopefully you'll be hearing
'the job's yours.'
- Arrive on time. Bring extra copies of your CV in case the interviewers do not have them. Create a strong and respectful impression as you arrive in reception. Yes, it is true: receptionists are often asked for their impression of the candidate.
- Shake hands. Make eye contact. Smile.
- Sit straight, but be natural. Avoid irritating mannerisms, such as cracking your knuckles or drumming your fingers. Demonstrate energy and enthusiasm.
- Call the interviewer Mr, Ms, or Mrs unless told otherwise. Use the interviewer's name from time to time.
- Be an attentive listener. Nod in agreement (resist the temptation to jump in and speak before the interviewer is finished). Demonstrate active listening by occasionally rephrasing what has been said: 'So you're looking for someone with experience in…'
- Be consistent in all of your messages about yourself, including dress. Determine ahead of time the message you want to leave behind. Co-ordinate the verbal content of your message with your personal presentation to ensure the messages are consistent with your desired impression.
- Read how the interview is going. Watch for signs of boredom or restlessness. Do not be afraid to ask 'Is this what you were interested in hearing?'
- Relax. Think of this as an interesting exchange. If you are nervous, do not worry about it – it will only increase your anxiety and interfere with your ability to understand the questions. Interviewers understand. It is human to be nervous.
- Be afraid to take the initiative in the interview or to offer more information than you were asked for.
- Worry too much about trick questions. Most interviewers will be interested in hearing about you rather than playing games. Take their questions at face value.
- Raise the subject of salary. Let the interviewer bring it up. If you are asked about salary expectations, give a general range such as the mid-50's, as opposed to $54,000. Or 'I'm looking for a competitive salary, but it's not my major motivation.'
- Assume that the interviewer has studied your CV in detail.
Excerpted from What Next? © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
Highly acclaimed, best-selling author, professional speaker, and television personality, Barbara Moses Ph.D., has helped millions of people define their career goals and achieve career success. Moses is president of BBM Human Resource Consultants, whose client list includes Lucent Technologies and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Barbara pens a popular column for the Globe and Mail, and is now a regular chat columnist for USA Today. She has written articles for, and been profiled by many publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and HR Professional.
Barbara holds degrees in psychology from McGill University, the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto.