Good Day San Francisco. My last column discussed the first two steps of your first interview for the next job you want to land with a San Francisco Bay Area company. It made several potent points about putting your best foot forward, whether with Intel, Cisco, LSI logic, or Systems Management Institute. This column continues this theme by taking you through to the conclusion of the first interview.
Your Third Step
If you successfully build rapport with your interviewer, you will begin to notice that the two of you are bonding somewhat. Bonding with your interviewer is your third step. It is more difficult than you think because seasoned interviewers appear to be bonding when they are actually doing the opposite. This is why some people become so disappointed after an interview. They think they have done well when they have actually eliminated themselves from all future consideration.
Interviewers fake bonding all the time. Some interviewers do not believe that they have any obligation to be considerate of the job hunter. They managed some way to climb to where they are without being adults at all. You can learn a lot about a company by learning something about the type of people the company hires to interview you.
If you do not like the interviewer, chances are you will not like the company. Strangely enough, it might not have anything to do with what you think about the interview process at all. No matter how much glamour you might attribute to a company, some jobs are just jobs, not careers. It may take more skill than you have to make a boring job something exciting. Potatoes are not lobsters after all. Job interviewers often understand this about the position you are seeking with them. They know first hand that you may be applying for a nothing job loaded with drudgery. The tragedy is that they know it and you do not. Job interviewers occasionally have trouble faking such knowledge. Your goal here is to separate the wheat from the clay.
Your Fourth Step
Your goal in step four is to facilitate the interview as much as you can to bring it to a positive conclusion, that is, if you still want to land that position with your Bay Area dream company. Here you never want to be critical. Do not criticize anything, anyone, or any situation. Criticism during a job interview is the kiss of death. If you do not understand this point, you are in more trouble than you realize.
During this step, respect the psychological boundaries by maintaining appropriate distance. Do not talk about yourself. By now your focus should be only on the company and the open position. Use last name and titles when speaking to the interviewer unless he or she has requested that you use first names. Always get permission to use first names. Never assume that such permission is freely given. Fresh graduates make this mistake a lot. Are we supposed to jump up and down with anticipation because we get to interview a brilliant new graduate from some famous college? Not really. Manners still count since informality among strangers breeds contempt.
Some Good Things to Do
As the interview winds down, you might want to remember that the last impression you make will be the interviewer’s freshest memory of you. So go out with style. You may have started the interview process a little off key, but now you have this last chance to fine tune your performance a bit and become the “virtuoso” we all know you were meant to be. Here you want to put your best foot forward. Think about the following smart interviewing practices.
Smile to the interviewer or nod when appropriate. Maintain eye contact genuinely without staring oneself into oblivion. Employ silent encouragement to encourage the flow of the interview closing process. Use verbal encouragement whenever the interviewer makes an open-ended statement. Repeat the interviewer’s words if you become confused about something. These reminders will go a long way in building a positive image at the close of the first interview.
Today’s suggestion in your career design: Never forget who you are and what you have done that makes you a unique candidate for the job you want. Job hunting in the Bay Area is a brutal fact of life that can weaken your endurance. You are competing in the fiercely competitive San Francisco Bay Area where people from all over the world are competing against you. Many of these people will have outstanding education and job performance. You have the duty to empower yourself by learning how to master the first interview process so that you get to the next level in your job search. No one can do this for you, but you. So, put in the time and master your skills. You have no choice if you want to do well in your career. Please contact me at [email protected] with your comments or questions.
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UNA VITA E NON BASTA!
Copyright (c) Raymond L. Newkirk, Psy.D., Ph.D., Ph.D., Ph.D. October 17, 2011