By Nancy Friedman, Founder and Chairman, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training – Customer Service speaker On site or now VIRTUALLY
Only 10? Nope, there are plenty more. These, however, are the basic ones & will get you to the top of the pile. Good luck. This list is particularly good for our Graduates. High school or College.
1. Keep a smile – all the time. Even when you’re in the lobby or you think no one is looking. Someone is always looking. An applicant without a smile is without a job, for quite a while!
2. Dress code – If you’ve ever heard the term ‘business casual,’ that’s a good way to get properly noticed.
Over the top can be a bit too conspicuous. Don’t try and over impress. And by the same token, jeans and a t-shirt is not the garb to wear on an interview.
Men – If you have facial hair, be sure it’s trimmed facial hair; have clean nails and your shoes shined. No running shoes.
Women – Not too much jewelry or perfume and skirts not too short. Attractive matching slacks and top works well. No chipped nail polish! Polish should either be on or off. Save the 4” inch heels for date night, not a job interview!
3. Be prepared – Some interviewers use the same old, same old questions. You can probably find them online. And the prospective employers have heard most of the answers. There are, however, some interviewers that will make you think out of the box – asking questions you may not expect (that’s what I do) to see how applicants react and how long does it take them to react with a plausible answer? And can they think on their feet?
4. A sense of humor – Remember, this is a sales job. The biggest one of your career. No matter what industry, people buy people. A sense of humor is needed in most every job. It doesn’t mean tell a joke or laugh at something that’s not funny. It is, however, a trait that’s needed to be hired. The ability to be able to laugh at yourself.
If you can, share a short story (and I emphasize the word “short”) in the interview at the appropriate time of how you handled a situation with humor – business or personal. It will be a big payoff!
5. Watch your ummms and uhhhs and ahhhhhs at the start of every sentence – Practice, practice and then practice your answers. Confidence is critical.
6. Send a handwritten thank you note mailed the day of the interview – And do not start with “Just a note to say thank you.” You’ll lose 10 points with that one word. Eliminate the word “just.” Either start without that word or start another way.
7. When/if you get the job – Send yet another handwritten thank you note or even a nice box of chocolates with one sentence of heartfelt thanks (unless you’re hired on the spot; then you won’t need 2 thank you notes).
8. Humility – Don’t be a ‘know it all.’ Most interviewers like and respect questions. It shows interest. Even if you have experience in the area; show humility.
9. Eagerness to learn – Recruiters want to see a candidate that can take criticism or feedback without getting defensive. Know your strengths and weaknesses. We all have each. Be prepared to share them.
10. Active listening – It’s OK to nicely interrupt and ask a question. Just sitting there and saying ok, ok and uh huh, uh huh does not do much for you. Remember one-word answers are not effective. They’re considered cold and rude. Speak in full sentences.
Congratulations. You’re hired! Got first day jitters? Hide them! You got the job! Be happy. Smile. Really try to get the names of all the folks you’re meeting down pat. Perhaps jot them down as you meet them. Learn and remember your coworkers. They are your internal customers.
They only have one name to remember – YOURS. You’ll have many to recall.