(Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Brian Tracy’s new book, “Earn What You’re Really Worth: Maximize Your Income at Any Time in Any Market”. Brian Tracy’s extensive personal studies in business, sales, management, marketing, and economics enabled him to move up to become the head of a $265 million company before he turned his attention to consulting, training, and personal development. For more information on the author, please visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.)
There are several things that you can do to make each interview as successful as it can possibly be. Each of these steps has an impact on helping you to get the kind of job you really want:
Always be punctual. Allow yourself enough time to get there, taking the address and the traffic into consideration. As a general rule, employers are advised never to hire a person who arrives late for a job interview.
Dress well for the job interview. Your clothes can account for 95 percent of the first impression you make on your prospective employer, because first impressions are almost always visual. Dress the way you would expect to dress for the job for which you are applying. Many people are hired for no other reason than that they were the best-dressed of the candidates interviewed. Many otherwise excellent men and women are disqualified by the employer at the first meeting because they did not dress well for the job interview.
Before going into the interview, take a few moments to breathe deeply and relax your shoulders. Breathing deeply six or seven times will actually release endorphins in your brain and give you a sense of well-being and calmness. Close your eyes for a few moments and visualize yourself as calm, confident, and relaxed. Create a clear mental picture of yourself as smiling, positive, and completely in control of yourself and your emotions during the interview.
When you meet the interviewer, smile and shake hands firmly. Look the person directly in the eye and say, “How do you do?” A good handshake is full and firm, where you grasp the entire hand and squeeze in a firm but non-aggressive way. Both men and women should give a full-palm handshake when they meet a person for the first time.
Interview the interviewer. Most interviewers start off with a series of questions that are aimed at drawing you out and getting a better idea of who you are. You should take control of the interview by asking questions about the company, the industry, and the kind of person that the interviewer is looking for.
The more questions you ask and the more you help to uncover the real needs of the prospective employer, the more likely it is that the prospective employer will see you as being the kind of person who can fulfill those needs.