Common Sense Approach to Job Interviewing

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-04-14 Print this article Print

Laid off but have an interview? Feeling desperate, willing to bend over backwards to get a new job? Willing to take something you don't really want?

Be sure you leave that stuff at home and away from a job interview, recruiter or hiring manager. From a recent WSJ article:

At an interview, you want to stand out for the right reasons. To do so, you'll need to leave your baggage and anxiety at the door. For starters, wait until 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time to announce yourself. Arriving any sooner "shows that you're not respectful of the time the hiring manager put aside for you," says Ms. Loubaton, adding that a candidate who arrived an hour early made workers uncomfortable. "Companies really don't want someone camped out in their lobby."

Signal confidence by offering a firm handshake, adds Wendy Alfus Rothman, president of Wenroth Consulting Inc., an executive coaching firm in New York. Focus your attention on the interviewer. Avoid looking around the room, tapping your fingers, or other nervous movements.

No matter how you're feeling, keep your personal woes out of the interview process, asserts Ms. Alfus Rothman. Instead, always exude an upbeat attitude. For example, if you were laid off, instead of lamenting the situation, you might say the experience prompted you to reassess your skills, and that's what led you here. "You want to demonstrate resilience in the face of unpredictable obstacles," she says.

This may seem like common sense, but there are enough people in unfortunate financial predicaments to warrant some advice. Especially those who say they are willing to work for free or virtually free. That's considered generally a bad idea to talk about that during an interview, though it's fine to ask what the budgeted range of a given job is likely to be.

The one thing that is stressed above others is to do your homework, remain upbeat and show that your skills match what they are looking for in a way that makes you a good fit. The key is that you want to be remembered for your assets that are connected to the job, not your personal baggage. |

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