Walking into Your Interview
Episode #8 of the course How to ace any professional job interview by Ken Liu
Welcome back! After a long journey of what seems like endless preparation, you’ve made it to your interview looking good and feeling confident.
You arrive at the company’s office, take a deep breath, and prepare to open the doors.
Your interview starts as soon as you walk in, even before you meet your interviewer. Every action you take from this point forward will be used for or against you.
Ready or not, the time to shine starts now.
You should get to your interview at least 20 to 30 minutes early. Allow extra time just in case you get lost or stuck in traffic (I’m from LA, where getting stuck in traffic is as common as breathing). Better yet, go there a few days beforehand (when you’re not super stressed out) to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
The worst thing you can do is not giving yourself enough time and end up making the wrong turn or not being able to find parking. The same thing applies if you’re taking public transportation. You don’t want to be panicking on the bus if it runs late.
After you arrive, give yourself a few minutes to relax, either on your own or at a nearby coffee shop. Close your eyes and rest for a minute. Calm yourself down and tell yourself that you’ve done everything you can to ace this interview.
When the clock hits ten minutes to your interview, walk in. You want to arrive early, but not too early. By arriving ten minutes early, you show the interviewer that you respect and value their time. You even have a chance to use the restroom one last time.
But if you arrive too early, your interviewer may not be ready to host you just yet, and you might end up giving them the uneasy feeling of being rushed.
Beware of Your Surroundings
I once heard about a person who was asked to leave the interview before it even started. Unbeknownst to that person, they had ignored someone who said hello in the elevator (probably because they were so nervous about the interview). As it turned out, that someone was the interviewer.
Often, interviewers will ask the receptionist about you. How you treated the receptionist when you walked into the office could have a major impact on whether you get invited back or not.
The general rule when you walk into an office (and quite frankly, in life) is to treat everyone with respect. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also the prudent thing to do.
Handshake and Smile
When you finally meet your interviewer, you will want to give them a firm handshake. Don’t try to break their hand or anything, but don’t give them your limp hand either.
Simply make eye contact, extend your right hand, and take a comfortable grip on your interviewer’s hand. Hold on for a couple of seconds before letting go. Your interviewer will then direct you and tell you where to sit.
And don’t forget to smile! After all, you’re thrilled to meet them finally.
You’ve just given them an excellent first impression.
It is worth mentioning again that you want to walk into your interview relaxed. That means arriving early so your blood pressure isn’t boiling when you are rushing to make it on time.
You are making impressions as soon as you walk into the office. You never know who is looking at you and making judgments. Treat everyone with respect. You don’t want your interview to end even before it begins.
Then, show your interviewer that you are ready to ace your interview.
That’s all for today. We’re almost at the finish line!
Tomorrow, we will talk about how to answer questions that might stump you.
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