Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. Knowing what the hiring manager is thinking may give you an edge. This is the second article in a series. The First Impression The first verbal contact may be when the hiring manager calls to make an appointment for an interview. This is your opportunity for a first impression.
Since you will likely answer phones at least occasionally at the office, the manager will be observing how you sound on the phone. Do you speak in a friendly voice? Do you interrupt? Do you say please and thank you?
The hiring manager will make special note of whether you arrived on time or not. Allow twice as much time to travel to the appointment than you think you'll need to ensure you're on time. If necessary, make a trip to the interview location before the day of your interview so you now where you'll park and exactly where to go.
Professional Appearance The hiring manager knows that most of us present our "best self" at job interviews.Select your wardrobe and make sure it's clean and pressed. If you have to ask whether your wardrobe selection is appropriate or not, assume it's not. Think "conservative and professional". Ensure your clothes are neat and clean. If you smoke, avoid doing so immediately before your interview. Non-smokers can smell it a mile away and cigarette smoke odor is a real turn off.
When you meet the hiring manager, smile, make eye contact and offer a firm handshake. Take a deep breath and don't be intimidated. The hiring manager is not there to grill you or make you feel uncomfortable. She knows you will have a degree of nervousness, but her job is to help put you at ease so she can get to know the real you. She is probably pulling for you to do well so relax, smile and just be yourself.
In Part III we will cover the interview itself. Stay tuned....