In my August Blog, we looked at common job search mistakes. The topic resonated with some of my clients and after some robust conversations, I want to expand on some tips that WILL help make an impression. Basic manners can make a difference with a first impression. Here are 10 tips to consider:
1. Advise your references of your application(s). It is polite to ask people to serve as a reference. Let them know when you’ve been invited for an interview. It is helpful for them to know about the job details when they get the call inquiring about your background.
2. Be mindful of the time. Give yourself adequate time to commute to the interview. Keep in mind traffic, and unexpected conditions. Notify the interviewer if you are thrown off schedule.
3. Be pleasant to everyone you encounter. Extend courteous behavior to everyone you come in contact within the building (lobby, elevator, receptionists, etc). You never know who is observing you.
4. Keep your phone on silence. I recommend that you turn off your cell phone and store it out of sight. It will reduce your urge to check messages and avoid a call coming in. You want to show full attention and demonstrate that nothing is more important than this meeting.
5. Look people in the eye. Be aware of your body language and stay open and engaged.
6. Keep your listening skills sharp. Listen carefully to the questions. Craft your responses to the context of the questions. Never interrupt anyone.
7. Be positive and keep a smile on your face. An outgoing and pleasant demeanor will go a long way towards making a good first impression.
8. Always be polite. Be courteous. The use of “please” and “thank you” is always good form!
9. Avoid being overly personal. Even if you know, or develop a connection with the interviewer, keep your tone professional. Be discreet with offering personal information. Stay focused on the interview.
10. Remember and use people’s names. Write names down in advance and memorize them. Using people’s names during the interview process makes a very positive impression.
No matter how impressive your professional resume is or how much relevant job experience you have, it is important that you demonstrate the polish of basic etiquette. Having manners is something that will stand out and get a job candidate noticed!