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Your interview begins BEFORE you arrive at the company

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: May 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

For those of you who believe that the company’s radar is focused on you solely at the face-to-face interview, you are sadly wrong. More importantly, you may have harmed yourself in ways you can’t possibly overcome even before you reach the hiring manager’s office.

How is that possible? you ask.

What an Employer Knows About You Before You Even Meet

First, there’s your social media presence. Are you a Facebook fanatic, posting about every mishap and embarrassing moment in your life? Do you live for those off-color tweets you send to your followers who may be re-tweeting them?

Guess what – employers have access to the Internet and look at those posts too. Could be someone on their admin staff happened to come across your rants AFTER you were called in for tomorrow’s interview. Rather than face a hassle by cancelling the scheduled meeting, the hiring manager will meet with you, but won’t hear a word you say. His or her mind will keep returning to that FB rant where you vented about your last employer.

Be Professional at All Times – Especially on the Phone

Even if you have a pristine online presence (and you should if you want to advance in your career), you still face the hurdle of that phone call where you’re being invited to interview. If there’s chaos in your house during the call (children screaming, dogs barking, you yelling for everyone to shut up) that won’t bode well for your candidacy.

Expect that every call is going to be from a potential employer. Find a quiet place to answer the phone. Swallow whatever’s in your mouth before you pick up the call. Be prepared. Sound professional. Listen carefully. Don’t be so excited or harried that you’re continually interrupting the caller. It’s rude and it will be remembered.

There’s no perfect time to prepare for an interview. You should always be ready to take the initial call with answers in hand to the most frequently asked interview questions. Sometimes that happens with the initial call because the hiring manager doesn’t want to bother to bring you in if you don’t meet certain qualifications.

So be ready and be professional well before you meet your next employer in person.