Fantastic! You’ve landed the interview. Now what?
Instead of focusing on what to do during your interview, focus on what not to do. Here are four communication errors to avoid during your interview.
Most military folks are aware of the concept of 15 minutes early is ‘”on time.” However, sometimes your interviewer may be running late. Be forgiving of their time and don’t become impatient or fidgety while patiently waiting your turn. Come prepared to wait. Bring resources to stay engaged and focused on your professionalism. Your philosophy of timeliness will be appreciated, but your willingness to adapt to conditions outside of your parameters will be noticed.
2. Professional Clothing
What you wear is important. Dress the part (Read: How to Develop a Professional Civilian Wardrobe), but do not be egregious. Many will don clothing that has not seen the outside of their closets for years. An interview is not the time to put on something that hasn’t been worn in months, or worse, years! Don’t run out and purchase a $300 suit before your interview without first testing its fit and comfort. Be certain that you are comfortable in what you are wearing, and that it is well-fitted and appropriate for your experience. The last thing you want to be observed doing is fidgeting with clothing when you need to be participating with your future boss.
3. Verbal Fillers
“Ummm, Errrr, Hmmmm….” Really? If you need to fill the gap with verbal gutturals, you may put off your interviewer immediately. Stop, think, speak. Practice interviewing with a critical friend to delete these habits from your rhythm of speech. An interviewer is listening and observing your intent, as well as receiving your information. These verbal fillers are distractions comparative to stop-and-go traffic on the expressway. This warrants repetition: Stop, think, speak!
4. Summarize Your Interview Key Points
Individuals fail to retouch the key points of their own performance to their interviewers. People need to be reminded of why you are the exception to the rule! If you want to “wow” your interviewer, conclude your own interview by hitting on the high points of the interviewer’s questions upon exiting the room. This lets them know that you were fully involved in them, rather than yourself. This is a big deal! Individuals forget this in most interviews. Do not fail to communicate their key points without sounding arrogant. Be brief, courteous and smile upon your exit.
Haven’t heard back after an interview? Read: 6 Proactive Steps to Take When You Don’t Hear Back from an Interview.
Preparing for an interview? Check out: 4 Things You Need to Cut From Your Resume