Warming Up: 6 Tips for the First 2 Minutes of an Interview
Too Early Bird
Everyone knows not to be late for an interview. But recruiters say arriving early is just as bad-in fact, showing up even ten minutes ahead of time may irritate them. Why? You will interrupt whatever they're doing ("Ms. Jenkins, your next appointment is here."), which can sow a seed of resentment. It also sends a message: You're an amateur, both overeager and over-worried about being late. Arrive no more than five minutes before the interview. If you find yourself there earlier than that, look for a bench outside or grab a cup of coffee.
Take the Trash Out
Don't bring your coffee cup into the interview. The same goes for that blueberry muffin.
When speaking with the recruiter's assistant, use her name. A simple, respectful "Thanks, Denise" could mean a kind word from Denise to her boss later.
Be prepared for the potentially awkward moment when you and the recruiter walk into a conference room for the interview and there are more than two chairs. If she hasn't yet taken a seat, rest your hand on one of the chairs and ask, "Is this a good place for me to sit?"
The interviewer may well kick things off with the dreaded "Tell me about yourself." But since your best overall MO is to release information about yourself in strategic deployments throughout the interview, resist the urge to dump it all at once. Now's the time to give a one- to two-minute pitch that summarizes your responsibilities at your last job and the reason you're pursuing this position.
Family photos can be great conversation starters-if you choose your comments wisely. You: "Your mother has a great smile." Him: "That's my wife." Don't make assumptions.
This article is from the winter 2010 issue of Jungle Campus. See the e-zine here.