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Friday, August 27, 2010

Help Wanted: Applicants with Boardroom Etiquette

Written by  Ira Koretsky

Article Summary:  By the time you get to an interview, generally, your background is less important than personality. Interviewers are sizing you up for culture fit, personality quirks, trustworthiness, and so on. Often, the little things count more than the big things. Think carefully then about your first impressions while in the boardroom. Here are five boardroom etiquette tips for making both a great first and lasting impression. [Note, this article was originally written for the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG)

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Help Wanted:  Applicants with Boardroom Etiquette

© 2010. The Chief Storyteller®, LLC.
Ira J. Koretsky
September 2010

When you interview for a job, how you act can tell more about you than anything you might say. First impressions, without question, are lasting impressions. Vast amount of research shows people “size us up” in just a few seconds. Add in assumptions people make about you based on your attire, accent, prior employment history, and so on. Together, it is seemingly an uphill battle.

Here are five boardroom etiquette tips for making both a great first and lasting impression:

1. Arrive Early
Make it a habit to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Relax and refresh yourself. Arriving on time shows respect for everyone’s time.

2. Wait to Sit
Wait for others to sit before taking your chair. As long as everyone else in the room is standing, you should remain standing. In most cases, your host will invite you to be seated.

3. Think First
Listen to what others are saying. Allow others to finish their sentences. In interviews, sometimes nerves, eagerness, and personality knock at our door and demand to be let in. Instead, resist all urges to interrupt. Whether or not you agree with the person speaking, this shows you respect his/her opinion. Do not let James Nathan Miller’s words ring true: “Conversation in the United States is a competitive exercise in which the first person to draw a breath is declared the listener” (“The Art of Intelligent Listening,” Readers Digest, vol 127, September 1965). For some, purposefully nodding sometimes help with an urge to talk.

4. Follow Barney’s Mantra
If you have children or nieces/nephews, no doubt you have heard Barney’s Clean Up song. One of the stanzas, “Clean up clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up everybody do your share” is appropriate for your boardroom interview. When the meeting concludes, push your chair in and take your empty water bottle/coffee cup with you as you leave. Cleaning up after yourself says a lot about how you will treat others on the job, particularly your peers and subordinates.

5. Write a Thank-you Note
It is truly amazing how many senior professionals today say thank you via email. This is a must. Mail a handwritten thank you note the very same day to each interviewer. Aside from being a great way to stand out, it is a gracious way of thanking your hosts for their time and effort on your behalf. Personalize your note with something the interviewer said or asked.

By the time you get to an interview, generally, your background is less important than personality. Interviewers are sizing you up for culture fit, personality quirks, trustworthiness, and so on. Often, the little things count more than the big things. Think carefully then about your first impressions while in the boardroom.

What’s your experience?  What other tips for boardroom etiquette during the interview process should be added?

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Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn®, and YouTube.

 

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr   youtube.com/user/IraKoretskySpeaker

Website: www.TheChiefStoryteller.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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