by Jez Martinez
There is a common misconception that the interview begins the moment you shake an interviewer’s hand and start answering questions. But the interview actually begins much sooner than that. Employers see you before they actually see you. Here are 3 instances when you’re being ninja-interviewed:
If you are putting your resume out into the universe, it is likely that you will someday receive a call from a number you don’t recognize. With the probability of that being a potential employer fairly high, make sure that you are always answering the phone as professionally as possible – especially if you are seeking a position that involves any kind of phone-based work. An employer may determine from that first brief conversation if they feel you’d be a good fit for, or a good representation of, their company, so make every word count!
When an employer hears your voicemail
If a potential employer is calling you about a resume you submitted and can’t reach you right away, they will almost certainly leave you a voicemail. This will be the first time they hear your voice, get an impression of who you are, and speculate on how you would comport yourself in their office. So stop and ask yourself, what does your voicemail message say about you? Is it an accurate representation of who you are? And are you comfortable with the type of impression it may give an employer? If not, you might want to consider redoing your message.
When you enter the lobby
Most professional offices have a front desk coordinator/receptionist responsible for greeting all guests. How you interact with that person is very important. They are your first point of contact with an organization after all, and rest assured they will give your potential employer feedback. So be friendly, learn his/her name, and smile. Engage in a little chitchat, if appropriate. You want them to have nothing but positive things to say about you!
Your first impression is a lasting impression, and it is often made long before the interview starts. So remember to always put your best foot forward, since you never know when a ninja interview will be taking place!