Saturday, June 27, 2015

Interview Screw Up? How to fix it.

Photo credit: Got Credit
Interviews are nerve wracking. You put yourself out there, lay it all bare, and hope they pick you. Nothing is more stressful or emotional than trying to sell yourself to a perspective employer, but what happens when you screw up that all important first meeting?

Did you get lost on your way to the interview? 
     You're late and can't find the place as you drive in circles. I know this one because the building I work in is hard to find.  Now the time is ticking and you know you're going to walk in that interview late.
     Here's what you do. Stop and call. Let them know you're having a problem finding the place and ask for directions. When someone calls in like this I give them careful directions and landmarks to help them get to us. Then I call the person they are interviewing with and let them know.
     To avoid this problem; Go the day before to scope out the place so you know exactly where you're going. Time the drive but give yourself an extra 15 or 20 mins to allow for traffic problems.

Did the interviewer keep you waiting too long?
     Don't spend the time staring at your phone. Even if you're in a room by yourself, someone may be checking on you. Random people walking by might really be looking to see if you're okay or getting upset at the wait. Employers don't want someone glued to their phone all the time. Turn it off and put it in your pocket. Relax, think of the interview questions you practiced. (See those here.)
     Understand most work places are busy. The interviewer might have received a phone call or had an urgent matter land on their desk right before you arrived. Not all things in business are predictable. Be understanding and don't give them an attitude.

You forgot your resume or references?
      It's always a good idea to bring a copy of these with you even if you already emailed it to the company. You want it in front of them and don't want to rely on them remembering your one resume out of the hundreds they probably received.
     If you forgot it, offer to email or fax it over with references. It's not as good as handing it over, but it's all you can do.
     One way to avoid forgetting is to keep a file with extra resumes in your car. This helps in two ways; You'll always have that extra one if you forget to bring it to the interview and you'll have one handy if you happen to meet someone who says their company is hiring. (I once got a job because I had a resume in my purse and handed it over as soon as someone mentioned they were hiring.)

Gotta pee?
     Don't be afraid to ask to use the bathroom if you have an urgent need by the time you arrive. It's better to stop at the nearest store before getting to the interview so you don't have to ask, but its really not a deal breaker. Quite a few people ask to use the bathroom as soon as they come in for the interview. We understand that some people drive a distance to get to us. You want to be comfortable when you're interviewing and not thinking about a pressing bladder problem. Ask politely and get in and out in a timely manner.

Interviews are like auditions. Bring your best and relax. A well prepared interviewee, has a good chance for landing the second interview.
Go get 'em and good luck!

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