How should you prepare for a job interview?
You literally have 30 seconds to make an impression during an interview. This question should really be “how do I nail the interview and get the job” that is how critical the first 30 seconds are.
So if you want to nail your introduction and the whole interview follow these steps:
1. Exercise on the morning of your interview.
2. Be presentable.
Use your phone to do a video selfie and check for food in teeth, lipstick on teeth, clumps of mascara etc.
People definitely notice when you are poorly presented and even something small like this can distract the interviewer.
3. Arrive in the area early for your pre-game ritual.
A trick I learned in sales was to turn up 20 minutes before my meetings and hang out in the lobby (or one nearby if they don’t have one).
If it was a hot day, I want to cool down so I am not a sweaty disaster.
I also used to bring my headphones and listen to a few songs I like that helped me get into the zone. You will see many athletes doing this which is where I stole the idea from.
4. Hit the bathroom before you get to reception.
5. Bring your own water.
Reception often do not offer you water. The interviewer might but they are often just being polite and don’t expect you to say yes.
If the interview is going to go for a while a dry throat can really start to impact you.
6. Be amazingly nice to everyone.
I had one sneaky client who used to go out and ask the receptionist how the candidates had acted pre-interview. If he came back with a thumbs down then they would reject the candidate.
7. Get off your phone.
If you are waiting in reception or the interview room read your resume first. If you did not bring it then read a magazine if one is available.
Tapping away on your phone when they arrive can be distracting and some interviewers find it rude (especially the older interviewers).
8. Don’t sit with your back to the door in the interview room.
This is a caveman trait we have not discarded yet: If you feel your back is unprotected you will naturally be on higher alert and be more uncomfortable.
Sit where you can see the door. The other side effect of this is the interviewer is facing you and there are less distractions behind you.
9. Stand when the interviewer enters the room (if you are able).
10. The introduction.
Nearly always it will be the interviewer who makes the introduction.
A simple response of “Great to meet you X, I am really looking forward to our chat today” is all you need.
Then the normal small talk.