Don’t Be Too Casual During An Interview
Recently, an exceptional candidate of mine went in for a second interview for a surgical device client. He had made such a good impression on his phone screen that the hiring manager arranged a second interview on the spot. Expectations on both sides were high- the manager thought that he had HIS candidate, and if the candidate was even half as good as he sounded on the phone, the manager was going to expedite the process. The candidate’s expectations were high too- so high that he figured that he was a shoo-in for this position, and all he had to do was show up, maintain the momentum, and the job was his.
So he walks into the hotel room (why a hotel room? More on that in a minute…) wearing Khakis, a sports coat, no tie, and instead of his resume- a can of Diet Coke! The air was immediately sucked out of the room. If you haven’t guessed by now- he did not get the job.
Never let your foot off the gas during an interview process. Never think that you have it made. Always be in a position to sell yourself. Did that candidate actually think that the hiring manager rented a hotel room just for him? Of course not- there were two other candidates he was interviewing. The candidate who got the offer showed up in a crisp business suit, had her resume and support material in hand, and maintained a proper business posture throughout the interview.
Unless your recruiter or hiring manager indicates otherwise, show up in a suit, look your best, and be professional. It is easier to take a tie or jacket off than put one on after you enter the room. And never EVER think you have the position nailed. Keep selling yourself throughout the process!