a href=https://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/kimya.jpgimg class=alignleft size-medium wp-image-3813480 title=kimya src=https://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/kimya-275×300.jpg alt= width=275 height=300 //a
strongKimya Kavehkar, Beacon Columnist/strong
Any idiot knows not to wear sweatpants to an internship or job interview. If you’ve ever entered the tedium of an interview workshop, this tidbit has been burned into your brain.
While this is important to remember, there are other things to keep in mind before you make your first impression on a potential employer. Regardless of whether you come in looking flawless or like a hot mess, there is one thing that your interviewer will appreciate: manners. You can be the most qualified candidate in Boston, but one etiquette slip could cost you that dream job. Here are four small things you can do to up your polite factor and wow your interviewer.
You know your stuff. You can spout off the company’s entire history, and have a prepared list of questions ready for the inevitable, “Do you have any questions?” Enthusiasm is bursting out of your chest, but often at the wrong moments — like while the other person is speaking. Let the interviewers finish what they are saying and then tell them how awesome you are. Listen closely to avoid a vacant look in your eyes while mentally rehearsing everything you want to say. After they’re done, count two Mississippis to let them add anything they might have missed and then continue with your thoughts. Do not interject or cut anyone off. This is especially important in phone interviews because you can’t pick up on physical cues.
strongMake solid eye contact/strong
This is not to say you should bore into their soul with your pupils. Just look into the interviewers’ eyes while they’re speaking. If it gets uncomfortable after several seconds, look at things near their eyes: the bridge of their nose, their temples, or the spot between their eyebrows. Show them that you are paying attention instead of drifting off to la-la-land. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to speak to someone while their eyes dart from side to side, looking at the posters on the wall.
strongGive a firm handshake/strong
Limp fingers, palms, and wrists make you seem lazy and like a shrinking violet. Your future employer is looking to hire go-getters not noodles-for-hands. This is also a great place to highlight your kind, welcoming, not-a-weirdo eye contact. A firm shake shows a demand for respect and a willingness to give it.
strongSend a “Thank You” email/strong
As a show of appreciation, within 24-hours of your interview, send a thank you email. Conventional wisdom will tell you to send a handwritten note, but the world operates on a much faster basis now. Save a handwritten card for the end of the internship or employment. A quick, polite, genuine, “Thanks for taking the time to interview me and review my application. I hope to hear from you soon,” works wonders.
emKavehkar is a senior print journalism major and a Beacon/em emcolumnist. /em
emShe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org./em
emFollow her on Twitter @kimyanattalie/em