When You Can’t Get Beyond the Interview

It’s a common frustration. You thought the interview went well. You talked a lot. They nodded. Your resume rocked. They put it in a folder. So, why aren’t they calling back???

Maybe it’s not the resume or your new interview suit or the fact that you got there precisely 10 minutes early. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you are sending signals that are making it difficult for companies to believe you would have their best interest at heart and represent their brand flawlessly. Run through this list of deal breakers and make sure you aren’t shooting yourself in the foot.

When people talk, do you listen? I’m talking look him in the eye, your body fully facing him kind of listening. People can tell if you are simply giving them face time and your body language will give you away on this one. You can’t keep glancing beyond his shoulder every time someone walks by the door and still appear that you are genuinely interested in what’s happening in the here and now.

• Do you walk your own talk? Do you talk about approachability and friendliness yet get short with the interviewer if he fails to bring your resume to the meeting? If so, you are sending mixed signals. Interviewers take every encounter with you and apply it to a business situation to help him decide if he wants to jump in bed – figuratively speaking, of course.

• Do you have another personality online? Talking smack online and giving off a foreign bravado will catch up with you. Everyone Googles and sites like Facebook and Twitter pay a lot of money to make sure their results show up on the first page. Know that your statuses on social networking sites are viewable to anyone at anytime and this is a cheap way for companies to find out if you are who you say you are.

• Do you look like a professional or a chump? Take a good long look at yourself in the mirror before you leave for an interview. If you are rumpled and slovenly, you will have to work double-hard to let your interviewers know that you are detail oriented, a self-starter and motivated towards greatness. It doesn’t have to be a suit, but it does have to fit perfectly and be clean.

• Do you know who you’re talking to? Be aware of who is listening to you during the interview. If your counterparts are 50 or 60 years old, cut back on the 20-something vernacular. For example, instead of being “jazzed”, you could be “pleased.” Don’t let your message get lost in the shock over your choice of words.

Body language, verbal language and your image are part of the great big pot of gold called interpersonal skills. If you grab hold of these, you can ace any interview with anybody.

Kate Lewis

Kate Lewis has been perfecting the art of developing and maintaining business relationships since 1995. Lewis has developed leadership and client service methods to share with students after years of success in the corporate and international business arenas and entrepreneurial experience with two small businesses. She writes a blog called The Civilized Minute, publishes an e-newsletter called In Polite Company and is a contributing etiquette and protocol expert for journalists nationwide, having been featured in parenting magazines, blogs and appeared on news stations around the southeast. She has delivered speeches on the subjects of etiquette and protocol to industry groups, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, college faculties, collegiate sports teams and a graduating high school class. She lives in Perry, GA.

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