In the Connecticut job market, many candidates worry too much about the margins on their resumes – and not enough about their manners.
Job seekers often fail to realize that employers look not only for individuals with the required skills and experience. They look for those who also have the right personality type to fit their corporate culture. Beyond technical abilities and training, hiring managers want the human qualities that make a real difference in the workplace: respect, courtesy, trust and reliability.
So as you head out the door for your next job interview, don’t forget to pack one of the most powerful job search tools available: great etiquette. Use these tips from A.R. Mazzotta to get a leg up on your job competitors by minding your manners:
Avoid wardrobe malfunctions.
It goes without saying that you should always dress conservatively for an interview. Even if you’re applying for a production job, dressing a notch or two above the required attire is a strategy that works. A few days before your interview, try your outfit on to make sure that zippers zip, buttons button and your clothes fit (and stay in place).
Arrive a few minutes early.
Showing up five to 10 minutes before your appointment time shows that you plan ahead. Respect the interviewer’s time and are enthusiastic about the opportunity. So if you’re unfamiliar with the company’s location or the local traffic, take a dry run (and scope out the parking situation) ahead of time.
Turn your cell phone off.
All the way off. A vibrating phone is just as distracting and disrespectful as a ringing one.
Focus on making a great first impression.
Fair or unfair, an interviewer sizes up you and your abilities within the first few minutes of meeting you. So make sure you stand up and smile when you greet your interviewer, make appropriate eye contact, and offer a firm handshake (three to four pumps). Say the individual’s title and last name when greeting him or her (make sure you know how to pronounce it correctly!).
Wait to be invited to sit down.
If the interviewer does not offer, politely ask where he or she would like you to sit. Place your personal items (handbags, keys, coffee cups) on a chair beside you – not on the table.
Have a crisp copy of your resume and references, a pen and notepad for notes, and your portfolio organized and ready to go. Doing so allows you to hit the ground running and immediately focus your attention on the interviewer.
Pay attention to your body language.
Interviewers glean as much about your attitude and interest from your body language as they do from your words. Throughout the interview, sit up straight and plant both feet firmly on the floor. Rest one forearm on the arm of your chair or table. Make regular eye contact, but avoid staring or glaring. Finally, avoid fidgety gestures like toe-tapping or hand-wringing.
Say “thank you” at least three times.
Thank the interviewer for the time and opportunity at both the beginning and the end of your meeting. Then, follow-up with a written note as well. To really stand out, send a good old-fashioned note through the mail.
Remember, these tips are important whether you’re going on a job interview, or registering with a Connecticut employment agency like A.R. Mazzotta. When you represent yourself professionally to our staffing coordinators, they’re much more likely to refer you to top employers – because they’ll be confident that you’ll represent our company well, too.