Sometimes going back to basics helps you reinforce things you often take for granted. We don't think twice about some things we do. Take breathing, for instance. Unless you're in a Yoga class, playing a musical instrument, firing a weapon on the range, or scuba diving, you probably put the act of breathing on auto-pilot.
What about the most basic things within an interview setting?
By now, you've spent adequate time polishing up your resume, but what about polishing up your shoes?
What about your clothing? Did you dress appropriately for what's the generally accepted business attire? Or, did you overdo it so much so that you stick out like a sore thumb?
We spend time looking sharp, but do we spend time thinking sharp? I'm referring to listening before talking. Are you making sure that you're not so quick with answers to interview questions that you totally blow it?
Does your resume look real fancy, eye-catching, and have that "must-read" quality? That might be great but how is the overall content? Does the resume look and style overshadow what's written in it?
How is your delivery? I'm not talking pizzas here! (That was my first job out of high school & favorite food, by the way - not that you care!) We're talking the manner in which you speak. Do you answer like many Troops do with short answers? Or, do you speak too slowly or way too fast? Give a listen to see how conversational you can be.
I almost forgot to mention manners. This can be an area that might get you in trouble. The military is good about showing respect for people and titles. Do you find yourself saying, "Yes Sir!" or "Yes Ma'am!" in interviews? Did you take the time to ask the person across the desk, "Is it okay to call you (enter Interviewer's first name here)?"
All those other manners we learned long ago apply too! For example, we should never forget to:
Say please, say thank-you, open doors for the Ladies, shake hands appropriately, don't stare, and chew with your mouth closed. Keep your breath fresh and your body too. Don't wear too much cologne or perfume. Turn off your cell phone! Show the company how important they are to you.
Be kind to the people who work there. Don't chew gum, don't smoke, and don't drink during interviews. If you submit receipts for your travel and expenses for attending the interview, be wise in your spending and spend the money as if it were your own. Don't buy any unnecessary or expensive meals or use costly modes of travel. (No limos and no wine & dine!)
Getting back to the basics just makes sense. Ask yourself if what you're doing passes the common sense test. If you're not sure what that means, ask somebody! It may sound comical to you, but these things happen all the time. Then people wonder why they don't get the job!
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