Insider Advice on Scoring a Job. Be THAT Job Seeker!

First Impressions on Job Interviews

Ever have someone give you job interview advice and say, “Well, whatever you do, don’t be THAT job seeker?” Although this phrase is commonly associated with something negative, there is a time you want to be THAT job seeker. When is that time, you might ask?

It's when a recruiter or hiring manager, like me, happens to be walking into the office building or lobby, or getting into an elevator, and runs into THAT interviewee. You know, the one who is so polished, professional, put together and has a presence about him. You just feel it, a certain vibe, a certain something. He is THAT job seeker! I often will walk up to my receptionist and ask, “Who is THAT?”

OK, so what can you do to be THAT candidate? The one that stands out in a job interview for all the right reasons? Here are some tips:

  1. You present yourself as the real deal! You are confident, smiling, not showing any nervousness on the outside. You stand tall, shoulders back and spine straight. You walk with a purpose. You command a presence.
  2. You pay attention to the details from head to toe! Shoes are shined, polished and not worn down. You're wearing a professional suit that is conservative, yet sporting a flair of fashion and personality with a fun tie or brightly colored blouse. You are nicely groomed with a clean and fresh haircut or hairstyle in place and neatly trimmed nails.
  3. You know what to bring and what not to bring! You do bring a small portfolio containing several copies of your resume (should someone stop you in the hallway). You also bring a sheet of questions prepared to ask in the job interview, which you’ve based on the in-depth research you’ve done on the company. But you are not carrying your keys, wallet or phone. You do not have your sunglasses on your head. They are left in the car or are tucked away and out of sight. Oh, and the ringer on your phone is off.
  4. Your interaction in the lobby is spot on! You are sitting up straight, on the edge of your chair, and observing what is taking place in the lobby. You are reading awards on the walls or making small talk with the receptionist (commit his or her name to memory, please!). When someone walks by, you smile and say hello. You are not fixated on your phone or reading a magazine. You are aware and alert.
  5. You are “Captain Obvious”! In other words, you are not chewing gum, biting your fingernails, tapping your pen or pacing the floor. You've kept a close eye on the clock. (Remember, if you are on time, you are late!)
  6. You are a step ahead of the rest after the job interview! You remember the receptionist’s name and thank her on the way out. You go directly to your car, write a thank-you note (you already have a blank one ready), come back to the office and hand deliver it to the receptionist. You refer to her by name again and ask her to deliver it to the manager you just met with. Smile and thank her again.

And THAT is how you can become THAT job seeker and boost your odds of landing THAT job!

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