Abridged: CNET Networks
It’s a common mistake of the job seeker to believe that interviewers possess some kind of clairvoyance. They think that they really don’t have to go out of their way to present a certain image because an interviewer is going to just magically pick up on their sterling qualities. But the cold, hard reality is you do have to put forth an effort and present some behaviors that your interviewer will respond to. Here’s what to avoid:
Bad non-verbal cues. I know it’s a cliche, but a firm handshake and good eye contact really make a good impression. People tend to equate a limp handshake with weakness. And, unless weakness is a job prerequisite, you’re out of luck. Many people will say they’re so shy they can’t make eye contact. Be prepared for an interviewer to take that as a sign that you won’t be able to stand up for yourself at work, and judge you accordingly.
Talking too much or not enough. Watch the interviewer’s eyes. If you’re coasting into 20 minutes to answer one question, and the interviewer is starting to fidget or yawn, wind it up. On the other hand, if the interviewer pauses after you answer a question, then that may mean he was expecting more. Beware of not asking questions. Sometimes the interviewer has been so thorough in his descriptions of the job and company that there doesn’t seem to be any more to ask. The best questions to ask are those that pertain directly to something the interviewer has said during the interview. It shows you’ve been listening.
One more tip – have at least three questions ready BEFORE you go to your interview. That way, you’re prepared no matter what. What questions do you ask? Do your research on the company – have at least two of the questions related to your company research. Then ask, “What are your expectations of this person in the first 60 to 90 days? Or “Describe your boss.” Or “Name the qualities you’re looking for in a top candidate.” Want more? Check out our newsroom.