By Linda Stober
This is a phrase my sixth grade teacher, repeated over and over and if I’ve forgotten everything else from that year, I’ve remembered those words. When introducing yourself for the first time to a company (and this is what you are doing), a good first impression is paramount.
To accomplish this — be prepared.
Make sure you know the name of the business and location where you are interviewing. As attached as we are to technology, don’t rely on checking last-minute with your mobile app or devices to get you there. Know exactly where you are to be. Arrive fifteen minutes early and if you think you will run late, call ahead. They will appreciate the courtesy call. And, if you are calling a business for any reason – ALWAYS identify yourself. The person on the other end of the line should not have to ask who they are speaking to.
Upon arrival, turn off or silence your cell phone. You don’t want it to ring during your meeting and there are very few calls worth ruining your chance at a good job opportunity.
Know the name of your interviewer. You may already be nervous and nothing will be more unsettling than when you are asked at the receptionist desk who you are meeting with and all you can offer is a blank stare. If you are unsure, call the day before and verify the time and person you are to meet.
Do not arrive carrying a large soda, coffee or water in hand. Leave those items in the car. Generally a water fountain is available on location or a beverage may even be offered. You should have a notebook to write in along with plenty of copies of your resume with you for the meeting, that’s it!
Attire is an important decision as well. Be professional. When in doubt: err on the side of play-it-safe.
Guys – while those cargo shorts and t-shirts may be comfortable for summertime — unless your interviewer specifically states otherwise, your best foot forward is a suit and tie.
Ladies – if you are wondering if your skirt is too short – it probably is. If you are questioning if the cut of your blouse is too low – always error on the side of caution.
Colognes and perfumes that are too strong are a big distraction in a small interview room or even a group setting. You never know when someone may be slightly allergic or simply find a fragrance distracting. You don’t want the end result of the meeting to be the lingering scent of a popular fragrance.
Simply use common sense during the process and you’ll be successful in your job search!