• Interview Etiquettes, the Preparation and Presentation Before and During the Interview

    April 01, 2008 by

    Take time to prepare well for an interview, nothing beats a good preparation and practice. And of course the little details which matter a lot: Dressing up for an Interview, and of course you must be ready to Sustain a Long Interview in case it turns out to be one.
    Your Personality and Confidence
    How instantaneously people make decision about you is amazing, the non-verbal aura reaches much more before you utter your first word, make sure you are refreshed and have a great attitude before you even walk into the interview room or even the building where you being interviewed.

    Your Non-Verbal Impressions
    You are assessed much before you even speak the first word. A substantial amount of your impression is put forward through your body language and other non-verbal skills. If you have prepared or done a role-play earlier it might make you more confident and get your non-verbal skills up to mark.
    Be attentive and give your undivided attention to the interviewer. Don’t be distracted if there are others in the room moving around or looking at the time, focus completely on the questions and the interviewer.
    Do not be apologetic or send negative feelers about being out of the workforce for the time period that you have been (in case of reentrants). Being confident about your decisions and showing what work-life balance means to you tells a lot about yourself. A like minded person would appreciate you more as opposed to someone with a great track record no resume gap.
    ‘Tis the Time to Market Yourself
    Don’t assume that the interviewer has gone through your resume and already knows your skills and abilities. In many situations, an interviewer could have been summoned at the very last moment before the interview and could have just brushed through your resume or even not had time t look at it than during the interview! You have the responsibility to talk about yourself. How well can you market yourself and how well you are prepared is what is at test now. There is also a possibility that the interviewer does not have the right interviewing skills , you can have the edge over the situation if you know how well you can present your case where you can apply your skills to the position you are applying for. To get the interviewer’s perspective and to be on track during the interview, take the initiative to ask the question, “What are you looking for in a candidate who would be perfect for this position?”
    With such a question, you are already on the way to use the keywords your interviewer uses to apply directly to your skills and experience.
    Take on from there and you shall be on the right course.
    Exude Confidence
    Present a confident you others will feel the same about you. Underestimate yourself, and others will demoralize you even more. You are what you project yourself to be. Your appearance, knowledge and practicing for the interview are the key to having the much required confidence on the day of the interview. It cannot be overemphasized.
    Some of the actions which display confidence:

    • A firm handshake
    • Good eye contact
    • Alert posture
    • Attentive body language
    • Positive acknowledgements
    • Gathered / organized accessories

    If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.– Marcus Garvey
    Be Assertive
    Women have to learn to be more assertive and more communicative of their skills and achievements. The interview is the time to talk about what you accomplished and it is OK to flaunt your achievements. A modest approach might not work in all cases, you have to showcase your abilities, tell your future employer how you can help them with solutions that you could have used in your day to day life.
    Radiate Enthusiasm
    Your voice, posture and actions must exude enthusiasm. Right from the first handshake to the making good eye contact, your enthusiasm must reach out to the interviewers. Are you keen enough to have this job or is this “just another interview”?
    Let Go of the Negatives
    If you feel you have said or done something wrong during the interview, which you would rather have not, just let it go. Thinking about it will only shake you miserable or shake your confidence. However, if you feel you can set the records straight don’t just start speaking about it right away it could make the conversation awkward or perhaps get to the wrong direction. If here is a break period and you are meting with the panel / interviewer again you might get a breather for the mind and body to relax and think on exactly what you want to talk about.
    But the best advice is to let it go right there. Focus on the positives, focus on your strengths and you can take the interview where you want to – towards the positive flow towards directing your interviewers to what you can do for them.
    There is always a possibility of getting back to clarify your point through a follow-up letter or a phone call within 12 hours of your interview.
    Recommendation for Books on Interviewing Skills
    Knock ‘Em Dead by Martin Yate (Adams Media, publisher). It offers 200 + interview questions and answers, including what the interviewers are looking for when they ask those questions.
    Article by Shweta L. Khare, founder and president of Careerbright and Speakbright and courtesy of Careerbright blogspot

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