Be “on” before you walk into the interview

interview waiting roomHere’s how to get your game face on before you walk into an interview. Everything counts in a competitive job market, so it’s important to realize someone important might be accessible before you walk in the interview room. Be in “interview shape” from the start and use the extra time to your advantage. Play it smart and you could end up having a laugh with the CEO (or his wife) in the elevator.

Turn on your radar before you walk into the office. Someone might spot you cursing your car door in the parking lot or sloshing your umbrella in the lobby. Clean your car if you drive there. The interviewer might ask you to drive so they can see your personal area. Even if they’re not in your car, trash is trashy. Don’t subject yourself to judgment based on your McDonald’s cup collection, clean it up.

Be nice. Make eye contact with everyone in and on your way to the office. Don’t be creepy and don’t flirt, but be friendly. Remember that everyone in the office probably knows there are interviews going on and the people you’re likely to work closely with will be especially curious about who’s coming in.

Introduce yourself. Don’t assume people know who you are or why you’re there. While you’re waiting, take a seat with the best view of the room, entry and receptionist. Sit straight. Relax but don’t get too comfortable. Keep a pleasant look on your face and try not to look bored (although you will be since you can’t play with your phone).

Just. Sit. There. Do not fidget on your phone, with your fingernails or rifle through your purse. Don’t watch the clock or look at your watch while you’re waiting. Turn your phone off. I know it’s tempting to play with it, but it looks bad to quit your iPhone game or otherwise fuss with your phone when your interviewer is ready to see you. Be patient. Be pleasant. Be “on.”

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