At this point you are on your own
Waiting to be collected from reception
First impressions count for everything. Your interviewer will consciously or subconsciously measure your performance in every way from the moment you greet each other.
Sitting in a slovenly way, appearing distracted or more interested in a paper or magazine you have found on the reception table than making early eye contact with your interviewer is likely to create a poor impression.
The way you decide to sit can suggest anything from high-level professionalism to a careless attitude, which may leave a potential employer wondering if you approach everything that way.
Of course, your interviewer doesn’t know what you look like so early acknowledgement will prevent any awkwardness or embarrassing mistakes of identity!
If you are kept waiting, use the time to go over some of the questions you might be asked, do not become impatient.
Completing an application form
Application forms need to be regarded as part of an overall test. Interviewers naturally look for positives in any performance but equally, assess negatives.
Sometimes competition for a role is extremely stiff and the smallest things can separate two candidates. If your interviewer is struggling to decide who they should employ between two people and your application form has been completed with the care and consideration necessary and someone you are being compared to has rushed theirs or made mistakes, you might just be offered the job.
Handwriting needs to be legible, answers need to be complete, all information asked for needs to be given and be free of spelling mistakes!
Greeting your interviewer
Have the confidence to smile, make early eye contact and shake hands. Try to appear confident, relaxed and pleased to meet your interviewer.
Of course those that appear too confident to the extent of cockiness, too relaxed or insincere have failed to find a happy balance.
Even shaking hands needs consideration. A nicely weighted handshake will be well received – shaking hands as if you are in a contest of strength or shaking hands weakly can put some off.
Most of us are aware of how body language can indicate our thoughts and feelings. As an example, it’s commonly believed that folding the arms or sitting slightly turned away from those we’re sitting in front of leaves a negative impression.
It’s important to remember to be yourself at an interview. As a general guideline, don’t sit slouched or bolt upright – an interviewer is far more likely to warm to a nice natural performance rather than a display of over casualness or someone who appears so stiff, upright and wooden that it might suggest an awkwardness.
The term, ‘find a happy balance’ would be a good starting point when considering interview style and overall manner.
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