Page 15 - December 2013 EM

december 2013
Copyright 2013 Air & Waste Management Association
Men should shake a woman’s hand as firmly as a
man’s hand. To give a woman a lesser handshake
is to not treat her as an equal in business.
Instead of, “It’s nice to meet you,” say, “How do you
do, (name)?” This is a more polished response to
an introduction. Repeating the person’s name back
impresses that person and helps you with name
During the interview, sit on the edge of the chair
and lean forward slightly to let the interviewer
know you are attentive.
Ask the interviewer questions based on your re-
search of the organization. Don’t be afraid to ask
the interviewer about his/her experience with the
How long have you been with the organization?”
What do you like best about working for this or-
How did you get started in this business?”
Close with an expression of why you think your
skills are a good fit for the position and the organ-
ization. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and
shake hands before leaving.
Follow Through
Send both an e-mail and postal mail thank you
note. The e-mail thank you is immediate—in case
the interviewer is making a quick decision. The
postal mail thank you note leaves a lasting impres-
sion long after the e-mail has been deleted. If you
are interviewed by a panel of interviewers, send
individual notes to each one.
This kind of follow through accomplishes three
It shows you put effort into what you do and
showcases your writing skills. Lack of writing
skills are a major issue in hiring these days.
It helps you establish a deeper connection—a
valuable jump-start if you do get the job.
It demonstrates how you will communicate
with co-workers, clients and other stakehold-
ers, if you are hired.
Your Interview Begins
at the Front Door
Your interview does not begin when you meet the
interviewer; it begins at the front door. Be convivial
and make eye contact with everyone you meet on
the way in and out—this includes security personnel,
receptionists, or administrative professionals. These
gatekeepers frequently have input on the hiring
decisions. They are part of your interview process.
Turn your cell phone off, not on vibrate. If it goes
off in an interview, you will seem unfocused and
distracted. Avoid texting and phone conversations
while in a waiting room.
Stand up to greet anyone you meet in business,
move forward and shake hands confidently. If you
are introduced to someone else who enters the
room, stand up to greet that person.
The rules of social etiquette dictate that a man
should stand when introduced to a woman. But the
rules of business etiquette are gender neutral. So
who stands for an introduction? Men and women.
Here are other business etiquette examples:
Who extends a hand first in an introduction?
Either a woman or a man.
Who holds the door open?
The first person who
gets to the door.
Who exits the elevator first?
The person closest
to the door.
If you are shown into a room to meet the interviewer,
wait for the interviewer to tell you where to sit.
Remain standing until the interviewer sits.
Your Handshake Speaks
A vice president of human resources for a Fortune
company told me the handshake is the most
important part of the interview and the area where
most people fail. A handshake that is too weak, the
wet fish” or “fingers” handshake, makes one seem
insecure or not a decision-maker. Too crushing
makes one seem overbearing or angry.
Give a firm handshake. Your palm fits in the other
person’s palm. Grasp the hand for three to four
seconds. Your handshake speaks. It should say,
I’m confident, I’m enthusiastic, and I’m darn glad
to meet you.”