“7 Common-Sense Steps To Getting Hired”

by Steve Reeves

In my 31+ years as a career consultant and document (resume) specialist, I have repeatedly come across these 7 basic steps for interviewees. Include the careful handling of these in your interview, and you’ll have eliminated some of the behavioral and aesthetic errors that cause some candidates to fail before they even have a chance to present themselves. 

1. LOOK LIKE SOMEONE THEY’D LIKE TO HAVE COME INTO THEIR COMPANY ONGOING – Be well-dressed. Even if the company doesn’t require that level of dress ongoing. Wear clothes you’d expect to wear ‘out’, to church or to a wedding. Be well-groomed. Guys, a beard or a soul-patch may be interesting in your social circle, but may cost you the job. I recommend having a fresh haircut and waiting until you get a feel for the company (your hired!) before you decide to grow something they might not be comfortable with. The same goes for piercings. Take your studs out for the interview. You can always put them back in if you’re hired and you think they won’t offend. Cover your tattoos as well, when possible. Take the time to smile and be positive.

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2. SPEAK LIKE A PROFESSIONAL – If this is a challenge for you … practice. Practice answering the questions that interviewers always ask, and be ready to answer anything. DON’T INTERRUPT THE INTERVIEWER. Wait your turn, listen carefully and speak up when you answer. Don’t mumble. Address the interviewer as Mr., Ms. or Dr. unless otherwise directed. Be affable and appear unstressed.

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3. DISPLAY GOOD POSTURE – Sit up, don’t lean on the sides or arms of the chair, lean forward a bit. You’d be surprised how many interviewers make a determination about an interviewee by observing their posture.

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4. BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST – You can fail lots of parts of an interview and still get hired, but giving a dishonest answer and being found out is not one of them. It can also lead to legal troubles later. An interviewer would rather have the honest truth vs. a lie anytime, and your honesty (alone) will score you points.

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5. DISPLAY A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN – It’s rare that you’ll know everything about your position. Usually, you know only a fraction of the requirements of the position, and you need to state (say) that you’re both willing and able to learn. Saying something like, “I look forward to learning how YOU do that …” is a positive thing to do.

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6. BE PRESENT – STAY WITH THE INTERVIEW UNTIL THE END – Don’t allow yourself to drift during the interview. The interviewer can tell. Stay engaged and listen to each word the interviewer says. Respond in a firm voice and speak up. All the way to the end. Shake his/her hand warmly when you’re done. Make sure you let the interviewer end the interview.

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7. AVOID CLICHES – Whatever you do, stay real, and avoid making ‘cliche’ remarks. The interviewer has likely had dozens, if not hundreds of interviewees, comment on the company (which I recommend you study up on) and the position (which you should know). Your remarks should be candid and if possible, new. They should be from the perspective of someone who is very interested in the position (as if it were the only one you want), and not from the general perspective of the public, etc.

* You may also wish to review the Resume Tips section on this site.

Wishing you the best of luck!

The Reeves Group