If you are fortunate enough to receive a request for a telephone interview, be prepared for the interview. Research the organization, and have some notes that describe your qualifications and how they relate to the job. Have a list of questions available in the event you are given the opportunity to ask questions. A phone interview can be very challenging. You need to be in a quiet place where a barking dog or a crying baby cannot interrupt you. Smile, even though you are on the phone; sound upbeat and motivated. If you have gaps in your resume, be prepared to explain them. Remember, the purpose of the telephone interview is to get you an in person interview.

The personal interview day arrives: You got this far. Don’t blow it because you decided to roll out of bed in your clothes from the night before. I had a candidate who appeared so disheveled it detracted from a pretty good interview. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hire someone who had such a poor image. I’ve had candidates who smelled, had a significant amount of hair protruding from their nostrils and hadn’t brushed their teeth. Pretty disgusting? Look in the mirror before you leave for your interview. You don’t need a designer wardrobe, but make sure your clothes fit properly and are cleaned and pressed. Shoes should be polished. And for the smokers out there, you can’t arrive at an interview smelling like you just bathed in an ashtray. Most people are non-smokers, and you are bound to offend.

Your image is an integral part of landing an interview, and what’s between your ears is the part that helps you land the job.

– Terry Schwartz

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