Friday, December 15, 2006

Managing perceptions and preconceived views

Interviews are largely about managing the perceptions of the
interviewer. Studies show that people look for things that they believe
(perceive) will be there, and conversely ignore—or pay less attention
to—those things that don’t fit into their preconceived views. If
interviewers think that you are an outstanding prospect, there’s a
good chance that they’ll be looking for, and registering, all the things
that will support their preconceived notion. In other words, if two
interviewees perform roughly the same at an interview, the interviewee
with the better reputation prior to the interview will most likely be
rated higher.
So, as much as possible, make the best impression you can before
or at the very start of the interview. You can do this by:
• ensuring that your resume is the best that it can be;
• sending a positive and very brief pre-interview letter thanking
the interviewer for the opportunity to be interviewed and stat-
ing how much you’re looking forward to meeting them;
• contacting the company to make sensible pre-interview inquiries
(see Chapter 3). Contacting the company before the interview
demonstrates appropriate interest and a professional level of

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