Do you remember that Friends episode where Rachel finally got the dream job interview and at the end mistook her interviewers intentions of opening the door for her as him coming in for a kiss? This is a great example of how touching should NEVER be part of your interview.
I know we all have funny stories about absolutely embarrassing things we’ve done in an interview, ALL of us. However for the sake of today lets keep them narrowed down to just two areas.
I started on touch, so let me finish with that before moving on. There is only one, and I mean,ONE instance where touching should be involved in an interview; yup you guessed it, the hand shake.
This is an underestimated gesture in the interview process; yet so important. It demonstrates confidence, articulation, enthusiasm and so much more. A firm hand shake (no don’t make them wince) accompanied by a smile, a confident look in the eye and a clear introduction made with genuine enthusiasm can positively influence the most stoic of interviewers.
Seems easy enough, but like the friend I spoke about last week in my article on Sound sometimes just shaking hands, smiling and speaking with confidence can be very difficult. The answer, PRACTICE.
Now on to Taste, how did that interview taste to you? I know what you’re thinking, you can’t taste an interview. Well actually you can.
- Bring in your coffee?
- Walk in chewing a piece of gum?
- Chewing on a mint?
- Bring in your big gulp?
- Bring in your water bottle?
As you can see bringing your taste with you to an interview can leave a bad taste with the interviewer. Quick story; a young man (let’s call him Sam) walks into his interview. He is greeted by the receptionist, she politely asks, “Would you like some coffee or tea?” Sam answers, “Yes I would love some tea, thank you.” The horror in the receptionist’s eye was obvious, she had asked out of politeness, and now she has to go and find some tea, which she does not have. Answer politeness with politeness and just say, “No thank you.”
Too much can go wrong in an interview where there is liquid involved.
- Spill it.
- Slur it.
- Dribble it on your pristine outfit (this has happened to me more than once but I’m clumsier than most).
- Cough and spit it at the interviewer.
- Sneeze and spit it at the interviewer.
I think you’re getting the idea. Remember the point of the interview is to be a clean slate they can envision actually in the job. If you do any of the above what are they going to visualize? I’ll tell you, they’ll visualize you doing the same to a customer, client or partner. Not a good visual, right? Not to start the relationship certainly.
You have to take into account all aspects if the interview and how you touch and taste are just as important as how you’re seen, sound and smell.
Read part five “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” of the sensory series.