When does the job interview really start?
Well, you can choose any moment you’d like. Because you can influence target companies early on in the process. You can also begin to penetrate target companies much earlier than you think. Here are many of the possible right answers in chronological order (what did I miss?):
1. Upon your first contact with a target company
2. At the beginning of your first phone interview
3. A week before the interview as you begin to prepare (research) your target
4. The second you wake-up on interview day
5. As soon as you step out the door
6. During the drive over – as you get pumped up for the job interview
7. The moment you enter the company parking lot
8. When you step out of the car and make the walk to the front door
9. As you open the company’s front door
10. When you greet the receptionist
11. When you walk through the office toward the interview room
12. The second you first make eye contact with someone during a job interview
13. When you shake hands with the interviewer (and other times when you can signal strength)
14. As you sit down in the interview chair
15. When you answer the first question during a job interview
And then, of course, there’s the first five minutes of a job interview. Yeah, that matters.
Here are a few short stories that illustrate these opportunities:
#3 The Week Before – Product Usage
I was interviewing at Meguiar’s Car Wax (#1 in auto appearance) so I went out and bought one of everything. I used each product and developed an opinion. And was able to talk with confidence about the category when I got in the interview. You can do this with software or insurance services. A great confidence builder.
#5 The Drive – Your Fellow Road Warriors
What are the odds that someone on the hiring team will be on the road with you that AM? What if you cut someone off or follow too close? Not good. So be aware and be a friendly driver.
#7 The Company Parking Lot
At a recent presentation, a job seeker told me how he got the offer largely because of an interaction the hiring manager saw (peeking out the window) between the job seeker and a company employee in the parking lot. The job seeker’s demeanor and helpfulness was the difference maker.
#11 Once You Are Inside – What Happens Outside
Remember the prep work I did to learn Meguiar’s products in the example above? As soon as I walked in the door for the interview, the entire marketing team walked out to the parking lot to see what my car looked like. It was perfect. And that helped me get the offer.
What examples from a job interview that can you share?
photo credit: Meguiar’s Car Wax