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Not-So-Obvious Tips for Job Interviews

Categories: Interview Skills

job_interviewEarlier this week, I read a short article in The Week, “The Dying Art of the Job Interview.” Here’s one sentence from it: "Recruiters say one in five recent grads displays unprofessional behavior."

The article goes on to mention a recent college graduate applying for a position at American Eagle, who “brought her cat along, set its crate on the interviewer’s desk, and played with it.”

Another faux pas was taking phone calls and texting during interviews.

This type of behavior quickly shows the hiring manager what that person’s level of professionalism would be once hired.

Would you hire a college graduate that answered his phone, texted, or brought a pet to an interview?

It seems that the job interview might be a dying art.

What can be done to help new graduates land good jobs?  Here are 8 Tips for Effective Job Interviews:

  1. Be Punctual. Try and give yourself a cushion and arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. You have a much better chance at the job if you are the one who’s kept waiting.
  2. No coffee, soda, or food -- and definitely no pets!
  3. Greet the interviewer professionally. Extend your hand for a solid (but not bone-crushing) handshake, look your interviewer in the eyes, offer a verbal greeting (i.e. “pleased to meet you.”)
  4. Turn your cell phone off (not on vibrate). If your interviewer answers a call during your interview, that is not a signal to whip out your phone and check your texts.
  5. Dress professionally. Ladies, no minis or low-cut tops. Gentleman, no saggy pants. For any kind of corporate job, think suit. Better a bit too formal than a bit too casual.
  6. Prepare Ahead. Find out as much as you can about the position and the company. A friend scheduled an interview with a company that makes a shopping app for malls. She went to the nearest mall, installed the app, saw how it worked. She then arrived for her interview with a list of things she saw that could be improved. (The job she was interviewing to do.) The recruiter was blown away by her professionalism and preparedness.
  7. Bring your resume, even if you’ve already submitted one.
  8. Practice Interviewing. A "practice" session with a friend can help calm nerves the day of the actual meeting.
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