I’d like to say that there was something familiar about the face of the guy Jeff who interviewing me. But there was really nothing recognizable about the dark hair and the other features. But then he mentioned that he had a little brother who went to the same college that I did and that’s when I looked at the business card sitting in front of me. There was only one guy who I knew in college who had a similar last name.
“What’s your brother’s name?” I asked, politely.
And as soon as Jeff told me, we had one of those odd “kindred spirit” moments. Not only had I gone to college with Jeff’s baby brother, I had worked with his brother for one summer in college at an amusement park. I had spent a couple nights on his brother’s floor when a huge storm knocked power out in the area where I was living that summer. I could say unequivocally that Jeff’s brother was one of the best people that I had known in college and that wow – wasn’t it a small world?
So we’ll see … I felt rapport even before the brother bombshell, so I’ll keep you guys posted! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a couple of things that I’ve been learning recently from my forays into the job search world:
1) Appearance matters. That’s why I hauled out the blow dryer yesterday morning to try and tame my haystack into something presentable. Sure, I could have let the air dry my hair like it had been for the past, erm … year? But I’d rather look a little more polished – more like someone they can see representing their company.
2) First impressions also matter. Five minutes late to a job interview or five minutes early? It may seem like a little thing and you might get some reprieve by having your interviewer be wrapping up a conference call when you arrive, but the receptionist might notice. And that person might say something to your would-be boss. So first impressions … very important. I learned that first hand through this particular experience – I had actually interviewed there for another job and seemed to really have a good rapport with the marketing director. Although they ended up filling that job with someone who had been recently displaced in their company, I received a really nice email from this person that said she would keep my resume on file and that she sincerely hoped we could work together in the future. Two weeks later, I got a call from Jeff at the same company. I came highly recommended from my interview with the marketing director. SCORE!
3) Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t build yourself to be something that you’re not. I’m probably honest to the point of blunt when it comes to job interviews. My favorite question? “Would you say that you’re organized.” As always, I stuttered a bit when that question came up yesterday, but then I was honest: “I’m very deadline oriented and I have my own organization system, but if you were to view my organization system, you probably wouldn’t be able to make sense of it.”
4) Thank you notes can’t hurt … in fact, when I got my current job, I had promptly sent a thank you note to the person who interviewed me. I forgot to do that for the marketing director, but I won’t forget with Jeff. It’s a little touch, but it might be that one thing that would separate you from the rest of the competition.
5) Sit up straight and don’t forget your manners! (I think that’s self explanatory …)
I’ll keep you apprised as I keep moving along … I hope that you all have a wonderful day!
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