How to begin and end your Job Interview - perfectly

These tips really work!


How to Begin and End your Job Interview - perfectly!

The beginning of a job interview is really important - you knew that, right?  However, did you know about the 90:90 rule?

The 90:90 rule says that 90% of interviewers make a decision as to the suitability of a Candidate in the first 90 seconds.  I read that on the Guardian website, so it must be true. But statistics aside first impressions count.  In my early days in sales I was told to do the "eye flash".  When you first meet someone shake their hand firmly, look them in the eye and then, well, sort of raise your eyebrows.  Creepy, eh?  So, on reflection, don't do it, unless you are in the Masons or something.  Then it's absolutely fine.  I think.  Probably.

The Beginning of the Interview

This is what you should do:

  • Make sure you know where the interview is being conducted. If necessary make the journey ahead of time, or check it out on Google Maps Streetview. Get there relaxed and ready for business.
  • Look the part.  Check the dress code of the organisation and mirror that, but if in doubt, dress formally: suit, tie, trouser suit, conservative dress and polish your shoes.
  • Make sure you have written down the name of the person whom you are going to meet. There's nothing worse than getting to reception having forgotten the name of the interviewer!
  • Be charming, professional, and smile at absolutely everyone you meet.  Everyone on the premises is an interviewer.  It is very common for the interviewer to ask the receptionist what they thought of you after you have gone.
  • When you meet the interviewer/interviewers it's the good old firm handshake, eye contact, smile and say "Hello, Nick Thompson, very nice to meet you".  Only use your name, not mine.   Easy eh? Yes, but not everyone does it, and I have met some senior people with a handshake like a warm trout.  Yuk! I always think, did your Dad/Mum/responsible adult not teach you how to shake hands?  Well, obviously not.

The End of the Interview

So you have asked your questions and the interviewer has wrapped up.  By this stage the interviewer has in most cases decided your fate.  But you have one last chance to influence him.  You can change his mind, if you've not closed the deal, or you can confirm his decision if it's gone in your favour.

Here's what I recommend that you do in every case.  Say something along the lines of:

"Thank you Bill, I really enjoyed meeting you and I just want to say that coming here today, seeing and learning more about your plans, well it has made me want this fantastic job more than ever, and I just wanted you to know that I would love the opportunity to come and join your team".

This plays to a natural psychological feature of most human beings: they like to be liked.  And even if the interviewer personally hates his place of employment he doesn't want you to know that.  It's like telling someone their girlfriend is ugly.  They may agree, but they don't want to hear it from you.  People want to welcome into their team people who are going to be happy, fulfilled -  and grateful. The key to this is: be sincere.  If it is not sincere then don't say it, as it will sound really cheesy. I've always done this myself, and it has really worked for me.  I mean that most sincerely. I really do (reference for the over 50's only there).

Now here's something else you can do.  You have to have built the right rapport, and it must feel right, but you can also try saying something like:

"Thank you very much for your time Bill, I really enjoyed meeting you.  I hope you realise that I really want this job, so I wanted to ask you, how did I do?  Am I the man/woman for the job?"

Now you should know that this is a high risk strategy, and it can work against you.  The interviewer might think: "Who the heck is the interviewer here, who does he think he is?"  This is because it will throw them off balance. They were not expecting it. However, if you get the opposite reaction it can really impress.  They will think, "Wow, that's different, I'm impressed".  It throws them off balance - but in a good way.  They'll think you have some chutzpah! It can also force them to bring out their final concerns, which gives you the opportunity, going back to my sales training, of addressing their objections and closing the deal.

Finally, after the interview, drop the interviewer an email or even an old-fashioned letter thanking them for their time, telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them, how excited you are at the opportunity, and how you look forward to hearing from them.  Don't be brash with this one, and send it on the same day as the interview, if you can.   I

f you like my advice on writing CVs with impact, Interview Technique and Job Hunting please sign up for updates, and please tell your friends. If you don’t like my advice – please keep it to yourself.  :-)

To get expert help in preparation for an interview drop me an email nick@theprofessionalcvwriter.com or call me on +44(0)44 333 300 1296.

 


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