Winning Moves Before Meeting the Interviewer

Your interview has finally been set. You’ve made arrangements to reach the site at the prescribed time which is 10 – 15 minutes before your schedule. It is best, though, to be at the building entrance or gate, 25 minutes prior to your interview which gives you 10 minutes extra.

These additional minutes may be helpful prior to entering the office of the interviewer and here’s why.
1) Huge organizations may have different floors or office zones/blocks which require minutes of walking prior to you reaching the designated recruitment office. The extra minutes will give you ample time to ask around and to walk without scurrying.

2) There are buildings with strict security measures requiring you to line up at the building security to check your ID as well as the stuff you are carrying. It is good that you have a few minutes on your hand to spare for this.

3) At times, there is heavy traffic at the lift/elevator. As you have a couple more minutes, you don’t end-up stressing out, instead, you can do the opposite – use the waiting time to think of happy thoughts and de-stress.

4) You have the liberty of time to check if there is any dirt on your face, to smooth back your hair, re-tuck your shirt, and dust-off your shoes prior to you entering the office. Ladies can have a quick trip to the building washroom for a powder pat and come out looking refreshed.

5) You have time to breathe, relax and compose yourself before striding in with confidence.

You are finally ready to enter the office.
1) Approach the receptionist and introduce yourself. Mention the position you are applying for as well as the time of your interview. If you’ve been pre-informed of the name of the interviewer, mention the name. If not, it is your perfect chance to ask. It is very important to address the interviewer politely and the best way to do so is by mentioning the interviewers name during the introduction.

2) If there are other interviewees, greet them with a smile. You may initiate a friendly chat to ease any tension. This can give an impression to people in the organization that you are quite amiable and cordial. Avoid being too chatty though. A brief talk about the weather is enough.

3) Discreetly eye company related items to add to your small talk with the interviewer. There may be posters hung featuring past or upcoming events. Run a script in your mind as to how you can bring these up during your interview.

4) Be the first to extend your hand to whoever will meet you at the reception. In many companies, the impression of the ‘gatekeepers’ (receptionists, administrative assistants) are taken into consideration. This is why it is important to always be nice and kind to everyone.

Note: During the pandemic, in place of a handshake, you can slightly bow your head as it is when giving reverence to a person of authority.  Also, if you have done your due diligence prior to the interview, you may have checked the culture of the people in the company and the acceptable greetings.  E.g. For the Japanese, men should bow with their hands on the side, and women with their hands in front.

5) Sit only when offered. Don’t assume your seat right after the handshake. Wait until it’s offered. Otherwise, ask if you may sit or where you can take your seat.

Now, breathe. Smile as you know you are now more than ready to meet the person who holds the key to your entry into the company.

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