Where does the word “interview” come from? What does it mean? The dictionary explains it as a formal meeting in which one or more persons question, consult, or evaluate another person such as a job interview. It means to get a glimpse of someone and to see in between. The word origin and history explained by The Dictionary:
1510s, “face-to-face meeting, formal conference,” from Middle French entrevue, verbal noun from s’entrevoir “to see each other, visit each other briefly, have a glimpse of,” from entre- “between” (see inter- ) + Old French voir “to see” (from Latin videre ; see vision ). Modern French interview is from English. Journalistic sense is first attested 1869 in American English.
We would all agree that it is stressful to interview for a job as it creates anxiety particularly if you are inexperienced and fresh out of college. How do you make a good impression? Which words get you hired?
The purpose of a resume is to get your foot in the door to interview with an employer and the interview is to sell yourself into the job. Prospective employers want to find out if you have the personal traits that people can depend on in the work environment also referred to as company fit.
Here are seven tips to help you stand out and make a good impression:
1. Know your own goals
What are you seeking in a job? Are you very ambitious or only moderately so – and why? It is prudent not to mention “money” for any of these questions, but go beyond that. Clarify and explain your goals to yourself first which will help you to discuss it clearly when asked to do so. If you have prior accomplishments related to the job, make sure to mention it.
2. Dress for success
People form impressions about us in seconds and it is important that the first impression of you is favorable. The starting points for attractive physical appearance are cleanliness and neatness. Find out early in life what type of clothing is right for you. For a job interview, you need business clothes, not those you would wear to a sports event. The interviewer will draw conclusions from your apparel before you have said a word. Let your physical appearance play a positive role in getting the job.
Know the essentials of good manners and practice them with everyone until they become automatic. Good manners consist of behavior that is appropriate, considerate, and natural. Study people with social charm and poise and notice their behavior with both men and women. Good manners will help you at all stages of your career.
4. Expressions to avoid
In an interview, keep your words businesslike and avoid using “between you and me”, “I wouldn’t tell this to anyone”, “My God”. Be friendly and avoid gestures that may distract the interviewer.
5. Be a good listener
In the work environment, we constantly listen to peers, supervisors, clients, and customers to name a few. What the other person is saying is just as important to him/her as what you say is to you. Cultivate this skill and don’t interrupt the interview while he/she is talking. Think about what he/she is saying before you respond.
6. What does your voice sound like?
Do you speak clearly? What is the pitch of your voice? Do you sound enthusiastic? You can also record your own voice and listen to yourself to make any corrections by reading it out loud and in daily speech.
7. Words that matter
What you say, is more important than how you sound. Make a habit of expressing your ideas succinctly. Avoid slang and profanity. Be polite and considerate and never downgrade others in an attempt to upgrade yourself. Are there cultural differences on how you address the person you are interviewing with? Should you speak ill of a colleague or former boss to a prospective employer, they will expect the same treatment from you. Learn to express yourself well early in your career.
Don’t miss the next post where we will discuss how to prepare for the interview. What tips do you have to make a good impression? Do you agree with these tips?
Text adapted from Reader’s Digest: Write Better, Speak Better published in 1972 by The Reader’s Digest Association Inc.