“Unbelievable. Can you believe that candidate? Slouched all over the chair, read papers on my desk, chewed gum, and put his feet on my desk. I couldn’t get him out of my office fast enough.”
After work, when HR people get together to talk shop, they share stories about candidates. Rude candidates. Poorly dressed candidates. Candidates who don’t have a clue.
There is a difference between candidates who are not sure what they want or who can’t express themselves well and those candidates who are just plain rude. You are confident we can’t be talking about you, right? Let’s make sure. Here are 10 tips to be sure Miss Manners would approve.
- Be aware of the other person. What is going on in their day? Does the interviewer appear nervous, anxious, or overworked? Do you sense conflict in the office? If so, stay calm and try not to add to the interviewer’s stress. Keep your voice even and your eyes open to ways to return positive energy to the room.
- Be prepared. Have several copies of your resume handy in case the interviewer can’t find it. You will appear helpful.
- Be nice and friendly. Smile. Make good eye contact and have a good handshake. This makes a great first, second, and third impression.
- Be interested in what is going on. Try to turn the interview into a conversation.
- Have a good level of energy but don’t bounce all over the room. To do this you must be well centered and confident.
- Keep your feet on the floor. Don’t play with your shoes, cross your legs in goofy fashion, or put your feet anywhere they don’t belong. Keeping your feet on the floor keeps you centered and helps you sit up straight.
- Don’t fidget or chew gum. Stay calm and focused on the other person.
- Brush your teeth before the interview to make sure your smile is beautiful and your breathe smells nice.
- Be prepared to ask questions. Have your questions typed so you don’t forget or feel like you are on the spot when it is your turn to ask questions. This makes you look prepared.
- Say thank you. Thank you for the glass of water. Thank you for your time. Write a thank you note later.
The trick to a good interview is to be prepared, be aware, and remain calm.