Thursday, December 31, 2009

Interviewing for a Job: Projecting Enthusiasm from the Get-go!

Recruiting experts and employment specialists are constantly, and rightly, advising job seekers to look upbeat when they meet a potential hirer. In fact, just yesterday, appearing on PBS’s highly regarded "Nightly Business Report," John Challenger, CEO of the well-known firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, urged applicants to project optimism during an interview, despite the understandably dispiriting environment. Well, here are two easy-to-implement suggestions on how to project enthusiasm and zeal from the get-go:

1. Display a wide smile when the hirer and you look at each other for the first time. I call it the “all-32-teeth-showing-smile.” In other words, a plain, ordinary smile is not good enough. I have ample evidence to say, with conviction, that a display of dental enamel has a visceral impact on the other person. It unambiguously conveys warmth that words cannot express. (So, if you stop by a McDonald’s to gulp down a sandwich just before the interview, be sure your teeth look perfectly clean before you meet the hirer.)

2. Move with alacrity. Move with energy. For instance, supposing you are walking toward the hirer who is standing at the other end of the hallway, or as the hirer is looking on, you get up to fetch a glass of water or cup of coffee from across the room. Well, take brisk strides instead of moving at an arthritic pace. In other words, let your physical actions project that you are a person of enormous energy.

Remember, a key thought in every hirer’s mind, as he or she studies you, is: If I were to hire this person, will he or she come to the workplace each morning bursting with enthusiasm and zeal?

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