The face-to-face interview is our final piece of the puzzle.
We’re here—at the end of the road. But we’re not going to leave without giving you one last present, a wrap-up of the basics of what we’ve discussed to this point. This chart will serve as a quick, last-minute guide to help you navigate through the obstacles that await you during your interview.
Tips for a great Face-to-Face Interview
Don’t Do This:
|Arrive early for the interview.||Arrive more than 15 minutes early.|
|Call ahead if you can’t arrive at the scheduled time.||Smoke or chew gum. If you smoke before the interview, use a mint.|
|Pay attention to the support staff. Doing well with them gives the impression you fit into the organization easily. Also, in certain circumstances, they can provide a wealth of unfiltered information.||Never interrupt the interviewer. If the interviewer wants to talk, let them. Good listeners are universally liked.|
|Use a firm handshake and get on a first name basis as quickly as possible.|
|Sit up straight and stay just a little tense. If you’re totally relaxed, you may drift into contradictory body language, which is something that people read intuitively.||Sit until you are offered a chair.|
|Smile and maintain eye contact—this really helps!|
|Be prepared to discuss the content of your resume and to explain any gaps in employment.||Lie or be dishonest. Many catastrophic things can occur if you do this, especially if you get the job. Exaggerating is lying.|
|Know in advance the accomplishments you want to highlight and look out for natural opportunities to bring them up.||Force information on the interviewer. This is a major turn-off.|
|Take notes, whether you need them or not.||Answer a question you don’t understand. If necessary, ask to have the question repeated, as in “Could you ask the question in another way? I want to have it clear in my mind.”|
|Ask additional questions to keep the interviewer talking, gain potentially valuable information, and create a two-way conversation.||Be disappointed if the interviewer handles the interview differently than you expect. If your human relation skills are good, you’re in good shape.|
|Answer questions and make statements in a direct and concise manner.||Avoid answering questions with only “Yes” or “No”; give explanations whenever possible.|
|Wherever appropriate, express gratitude for past employers and bosses.||Make negative statements about former bosses, past companies, or your present company. If absolutely necessary, speak in terms of “problems,” “difficulties,” or “challenges” versus negative comments.|
|If a statement you make is challenged, offer a diplomatic response such as, “In the environments I have been in, this is how it was handled. If there are better ways to do it, I would be very interested in learning them.”||Get drawn into even a low-key argument. If you argue, you can’t win, even if you are right.|
|Thank the interviewer for their time.|
So we finish back where we started—at preparation. It’s one of the keys to success in life and also to success in your career, including the face-to-face interview. Hopefully, this series of blog posts has helped you to prepare in the proper fashion . . . and to achieve the success you’re looking for.
(For more information about successfully preparing for YOUR next interview, download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Put Your Best You Forward: Simple Steps to a Successful Interview.)