The moment you walk through the door you should be in interview-mode. You are only given one shot to make a good first impression to greet the person interviewing you, so make sure you are prepared to impress the hiring manager right off the bat. First, you need to know how to give the perfect handshake. You do not want to shake hands with a limp wrist or shake hands too vigorously. Make sure your handshake is firm and only lasts a couple seconds before letting go.
Another important aspect of the interview greeting is your verbal salutation. Most people say something along the lines of: "Nice to meet you, Mr. Sawyer." Notice how you should state the name of the interviewer with the prefix "Mr." or "Ms." instead of saying the person's first name. Using a prefix is a way of showing respect. If you do not know the interviewer's name at first, then say "Madam" or "Sir." Maybe after you have given your greeting the interviewer will say something like: "Please, call me Tom." From that point forward, it is okay to talk to your interviewer by his or her first name, but at first, you want to be formal.
A crucial part of the greeting that many job applicants tend to look over is the smile. You do not have to have a constant grin spread out over your face like the Cheshire Cat, but when you first walk in, you should be smiling to show that you are excited to meet with the hiring manager. Frowning or even just having a neutral expression on your face could indicate that you are not interested in being there, and it could give off a bad impression from the very start. Interviewers enjoy talking to people who are passionate about their line of work, so it is vital to express your enthusiasm via smile.
Prepare Beforehand for Your Greeting
Various aspects of your greeting need to be prepared early so that you are ready to meet the interviewer for the first time. First, you need to be dressed properly. Even if the company you are applying for has a more casual atmosphere, you should take the interview process seriously. This involves a nice business suit for the gentlemen and a skirt with a jacket for the ladies. A nice pair of shoes should also be worn. Make sure to shower that morning and brush your teeth so that you convey that you know how to maintain good hygiene.
You also want to make sure you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for the interview. If you arrive right on time, then you might as well be late. If you show up late, then you might as well disqualify yourself from getting the position. However, there is also a downside to showing up too early for an interview. Arriving half an hour before your interview is set to start will give the impression that you are overly desperate for the job, and you will most likely just have to wait uncomfortably in the lobby for the time being. Showing up 15 minutes early shows that you are dedicated to getting this position but that you also have a life outside of your career.
Greeting Other People at the Company
Many job applicants focus solely on trying to impress the person interviewing them that they neglect the other people at the office. From the receptionist to other employees just walking by, you should be friendly to everyone you come in contact with. Interviewers want to know that you are a cordial person in general and are not just sucking up to just them.
If the company you are applying for has a front desk, make sure the receptionist sees you smile and that you introduce yourself accordingly. Take a seat if you are asked to wait for a few minutes. Feel free to strike up a conversation with any other applicants waiting, but avoid topics like the salary and benefits of the position and avoid talking about your previous work experience at this time. Now is the time to turn off your cell phone so that it does not unexpectedly go off while you are being interviewed. Read a magazine to pass the time if there are any lying around. Interviewers are likely to ask other employees what they thought of your demeanor, so make sure everyone at that organization has something positive to say about you.