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When you visit a potential employer’s facility for a face-to-face interview, be on guard, and your best behavior.

interview behaviorFrom the moment you enter the parking lot until you pass through the gates on your way home or to the airport, you will be under a magnifying glass.  At least that is what you must assume.  Were you a nice guy, friendly and courteous to the employees you came into contact with? The hardest thing for a prospective employer to figure out is whether you will fit into their culture.  Bad hires are very costly and companies are paying more attention to the issue of “fit” more than ever before.

Increasingly, employers are initiating contact with candidates in a variety of “ non-interview settings” to measure the candidate’s friendliness and courtesy.  When you felt that no one was looking, when the official spotlight was turned off or at lunch, did you treat people — the parking lot attendant, the  front door valet, the main receptionist, the office assistants — with respect and a friendly smile?

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There is an old saying in employment circles:  do not hire clowns because they multiply like rabbits.  Well, rude jerks fit into that same category.  In this new economy, organizations, especially those in healthcare, are realizing that they do not have to settle for less than the best.

There is never — and I mean ever — a time during a site interview visit that you are not being scrutinized. Act like it. Be self aware.

You never know when the person you spoke to or shared a nod of the head and a smile with — or ignored —was a member of the senior leadership team, or the board.