Employment Matters

Pending grads of all types; college, trade, tech and yes even high school. Since February I’ve been sharing information about what to expect and how to prepare for those post-grad job interviews you’re about to have. In fact in my last article I told you to get ready to consume a lot because my advice was gonna be served to you like a seven-course meal.
Remember that? Good… Because you’re about to get a healthy portion of the meat and potatoes of that very meal. And just like your grandma’s pot roast at Sunday supper the In-person Interview is the featured attraction of the getting hired process.
The assumption is that you’ve applied for the job; you have prescreened for the job via some media; you have completed all the necessary pre-hire assessments and now you have been invited to interview with company rep face-to-face no matter how far or near to your home.
A lot has happened to get you to this point so now what do you do? No matter how many interviews are to be conducted before a final candidate is chosen I firmly believe the most important thing that you must do during this phase is to be consistent.
Being brutally honest, there are a lot of factors that you the applicant/ candidate do not control in this setting. You have no control over your interviewer’s temperament, his or her cadence, interruptions, that person’s schedule, their ability to ask questions effectively or listen intently. And there isn’t any doubt that you will have no idea of the types of questions asked. I could go on and on because the factors indeed are limitless.
However if you are consistently prompt, properly-attired, well-prepared, well-mannered, well-spoken, attentive to your surroundings and have a positive demeanor you will be considered as an apt candidate for the position no matter how many actual interviews you have to endure.
Allow me to share with you examples of the Consistency Factors mentioned.
Promptness: make sure you have signed in with the receptionist at least 15 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin.
Properly-Attired: Okay this is the one constant that is most difficult to address in this format because it is best demonstrated through a variety of fluid visual aids. That being said let me give you a few solid tips. For the blue collar/trade worker types a pressed shirt and pants combo usually suffices. For those of you who will be working in an office model your attire after a local news anchor because his/her appearance has to appeal to a broader audience and tends not to be overly trendy. Second, select clothing that will help present you as a serious candidate for the job, not someone who arrived for the interview in a questionable outfit.
Well-Prepared: be sure you are well-informed of the position, company/industry and the name of the person(s) interviewing you if possible. Have at least five copies of your resume to share. And have 3-5 questions of your own to ask your host(s) about the job and the company. Remember you’re interviewing the company as well for you own comfort and career goals compatibility.
Well-Mannered: “TURN OFF ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES!” You will survive a few hours without being connected to the grid. I can’t tell how many times someone’s phone has announced that it was a part of the interview though it wasn’t invited.
Also follow staff instructions at all times; wait for directions on everything from seating to testing protocols because someone is always aware of your presence during this process. It’s important that you know that. I would often ask my employment coordinators, the lobby receptionist and department admins how a candidate interacted with them and if they adhered to instructions.
Your ability to effectively communicate verbally is so vitally important so much so that some hiring managers say it’s the most important attribute at this stage of the process, hence Well-Spoken. Therefore, it is imperative that you are articulate, but not robotic. Realize that you are in a professional setting and you should speak as such, but do not loose who you are in translation.
Have good eye contact with your interviewer, attentively listen and ensure that you respond to the questioned asked at all times. The better responses are those which the bottom-line answer to the question is given first and supporting information follows. This retort style tends to help the often nervous interviewee stay focused, confident and in tuned with their host needs to ascertain information.
No matter if you’re engaged in the first or fourth interview, good posture and a firm handshake are essential as well. Also never refuse water and a restroom break. You might be expected to do a great deal of speaking which lead to you being parched. Dry mouth could lead to an unnecessary verbal and mental lapses or other embarrassing moments during the interview. Restroom breaks allow you gather yourself, if needed, or at the very least refresh yourself so that continuing the process is not an issue.