This is a Guest Post by Tasha Kunneke
We have all been there before, and will probably be there again with our stomachs tied in a thousand knots. Yes, I am talking about job interviews. That terrifying, yet exhilarating feeling that consumes you as soon as you come face to face with the gatekeeper to your new job. He introduces himself as the Human Resource Manager. You can feel all the intellect and funny jokes evaporate from your body. Suddenly, you start to doubt your very existence. Should you smile or look stern? Should you talk or just keep quiet or just run away screaming?
To avoid any nervous breakdowns and to better your chances of landing your dream job, I have compiled some guidelines to follow before embarking on the battlefield called job interviews.
- Dress to impress. I know it is a bit of a cliché but it rings true. Look professional for the interview. Men, put on that tie and jacket even if it feels like you are boiling from the inside out. Think Mad Men. Trim that beard and slap on some aftershave and please for the love of sanity do not wear white socks with your black trousers. Ladies, a pair of stockings go a long way as does a neat bun. Hide your assets. It will only offend women and distract men. Neither one is desirable. Keep makeup to the bare minimum as well as the jewelry. Think Hillary Clinton or even better Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope.
- Research, research, research. Research the company, the clients and their overall vision. Thanks to Google, all the information you need is a click away. Be sure to do extensive research on the department in which you are applying for as well as the required duties and tasks.
- Be prepared. Have all your information, documents, certificates, ID copies etc. ready in a file when you enter the interview. Also take an extra copy of your CV with. You will be surprised how useful that can be.
- Speech. Speak in an audible voice, even if you are in introvert by heart. Go and search out your alter ego. The gatekeeper is not going to sit there and try to decipher what you are trying to say. Keep your answers sweet and short and your vocabulary professional, this might be your next employer after all. Never say more than what is necessary.
- Attitude. No one likes the person who looks like he might wither up and die after the first question, nor the bumptious and opinionated know it all. There is no need to boast of previous accomplishments, they have read your CV. Try and find the correct balance. Be polite, self-assured and humble. Keep your head up, walk straight and make eye contact and if by chance you have chewing gum in your mouth, please spit it out before you enter.
Lastly, please remember that an interview is also your opportunity to see whether you fit in with the people and the overall culture of the company. If you do not like their approach or attitude, you have the right to turn down the job.