Oh my stars! You’ve come so far! You’ve updated your resume, nailed your phone interview, and now you’re off to your in person interview. To help you knock it out of the park, I’ve prepared for you a list of basic (and not-so-basic) dos and don’t.
ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY
This is a common tip, but in addition to arriving 15 minutes early, I recommend stopping in the restroom to check your general appearance. If the building has locked restrooms, stop in and chat up the receptionist for a key. Otherwise, make this pit stop before you check in with the receptionist.
BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Perhaps the most commonly quoted statistic on non-verbal communication comes from Albert Mehrabian’s book Silent Messages. The general idea is that only 7% of your credibility comes from the actual words you are speaking. 55% of your credibility comes from just body language, and the remaining 38% comes from your tone of voice.
PAUSE TO THINK
Pausing to think before speaking is a sign of active listening. Active listening is an important skill to master in life, as I’ve written previously. If you answer immediately or interrupt, it shows the Hiring Manager you were formulating your answer while they were still speaking to you.
CONVERSE WITH THE HIRING MANAGER
Rather than simply answering the question, hold a conversation. The easiest way to do this is to answer the question and follow it up with a question of your own. This will lead to a conversational tone.
ARRIVE MORE THAN 15 MINUTES EARLY
If you arrived more that 15 minutes early, sit in your car and run through your talking points. Do not enter the building until the 15 minute mark. Arriving too early can make the Hiring Manager feel rushed with their previous appointment.
CROSS YOUR ARMS
As I mentioned in the DOS, 55% of your credibility comes from your body language. Slouching, crossing your arms, distractedly checking your watch. These are all actions that give the impression of being disinterested.
Unless you are 100% sure the jargon is industry-wide, don’t use it. Instead of providing a general statistic on your TPS Report, talk about how you exceeded the company standard of 100 contacts per day by a minimum of 5% daily. This gives the same information but in non-specific terms.
USE QUALIFYING LANGUAGE
Rather than saying something like, “I know I don’t have much experience…” pull from all the experience you DO have! If you’re a recent graduate and lack professional experience, pull from committees you chaired or groups you worked on. Professional is not the only type of experience there is – real world experience is also quite valuable!
If you’re still feeling nervous, strike a quick power pose! Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on power posing is a must watch for everybody but especially job hunters.
Now go forth and be awesome!