Hello and welcome back to Business English 360. I’m Tim Simmons, and I’m glad you could join me today for the second in our series on your first job interview. In this show, we’re going to take a look at how to demonstrate a professional attitude during your interview. This can be a difficult thing to do when you’re feeling nervous and have a hundred other things on your mind. But it’s really important – especially for your first job interview. Here’s why.
Yes, your experience and skills are important, just like we talked about last week. But demonstrating a professional attitude is also key to setting yourself apart from other candidates. You need to show that you’re confident, comfortable, and personable. Employers can’t really see your personality or attitude from your resume. Indeed, the main purpose of an interview is to meet you face-to-face and see if you have the right stuff, the right intangible qualities, the right professionalism... to do the job right. Interviewers want to get to know you a bit and gauge how you’ll get along with others in the work environment. Remember, you’re not there just to summarize your resume. You need to make a good personal impression, too. So, let’s have a look at how you can do that.
For starters, you need to look the part. Appearance is very important, and you should choose simple and conservative clothing. Make sure you’re neatly trimmed and go easy on the makeup, jewelry, and cologne or perfume. Don’t worry too much if you arrive and find that it’s a fairly casual environment. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, and you’re showing respect for the interviewer and the process by dressing formally.
You’re dressed for success. Now what? Well, you need to adopt an attitude – an outward self – that conveys professional enthusiasm. This starts with two things: eye contact and a smile. These show that you’re engaged and personable. Also make sure you’re ready with a firm and confident handshake. Be quick to respond when an interviewer extends his or her hand. Or take the initiative yourself.
Great stuff. You’re done with the introductions – now comes the tough part: the interview itself. Your primary job is to answer questions, but it’s not a police interrogation. You need to be an active participant in the interview. You need to engage in a dialog. Show interest in the company and position. Show excitement about your own experience and what you might bring to the company. At the same time, be careful not to take control of the conversation. Let the interviewer call the shots and set the pace. You need to show them enthusiasm, but make sure you keep your answers to the point. You prepared well for this interview, right?
So, you’ve managed to field the interviewer’s questions with professional excitement and confidence. The interview is drawing to a close and you have to think about going out on a positive note. How do you do that? Well, the end of the interview is an excellent time for you to ask some questions about the company, its products, the interviewer’s role in the company, or whatever else your research has prepared you to discuss. And finally, you want to thank the interviewers for their time and let them know that they can contact you if they have any further questions. Exit the same way you entered. By that, I mean with a smile and a solid handshake. Walk out confidently. And if you need to wipe the sweat from your brow or loosen your tie, wait until you’re out of sight.
That’s all for today. Next week, we’ll look at the topic of pre-interview research. So long, and see you again soon.