The title of this entry seems simple and yet, when you are job searching, you need to take it literally. When you are interviewing, you know that you need to prepare for your interviews. There are many factors that will be considered when it is time for a prospective company to make a decision on who they want to hire.
They will be looking at your past work experience, your tenure, your official title and position you held, your education, your skills, your overall level of professionalism, your ability to dress and present yourself appropriately, your confidence in your answers, your ability to handle difficult questions, your honesty, your body language, your consistency and your overall demeanor!
These are all areas you expect to be critiqued in during an interview. One simple lesson you should not take for granted is your first impression. You need to be nice right away.
Sometimes, you may forget to be nice to others that may not appear to be as important. This is a common mistake and it has extreme consequences. I am referring to people in a company that see you before you get to your interview. The security person, a clerk, an employee and probably the person most likely to “make or break” you is the Front Desk / Receptionist / Administrative Assistant / Executive Secretary. Anyone you come in contact with prior to your appointment can quickly send a message to the person you are interviewing with. If you are rude to someone, they will not hesitate to make a call.
Most of the time you will meet at least one person before you meet your interviewer. The company’s Front Desk person will definitely make a quick judgment call and then will take their opinion of you back with them to the interviewer. The individual upfront usually knows everyone in the company. It is their job to know who is going where and when. If they see you as a possible new hire, they want to see for themselves if you will fit in. They will notice if you are nervous, quiet and unfriendly. If on the other hand they see you as happy (because you are smiling at everyone they see), confident (because you are making good eye contact with others) and friendly (because you are talking with the Front Desk individual and even saying hello to others if it is appropriate to do so). This positive observation will also be shared with your interviewer.
The bottom line is to be nice to everyone you see in a company when you are there for an interview. Another thought, you may get a job with this company, and if you do, you want your first impression to be a good one!
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice
Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.