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You Lost Me at Hello

You may be in the interviewer's seat, but keep in mind that you need to make a good first impression, too.

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This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I hate interviewing, so much so that I stayed at my previous dead-end job too long just to avoid the trauma. I hate being judged so intimately--from every word I speak to the outfit I'm wearing. However, through my now-numerous interviewing experiences, I've come to realize that I can just as easily be the judge of my interviewer and what the interview says about the company.

First, there are the seemingly small things. When I come in for an interview and a company doesn't validate my parking, it usually indicates to me that it's not very financially stable. When they don't offer me a drink or bathroom break during a lengthy interview or series of interviews, I get the impression they don't care or provide for their employees. If my interviewer is late to interview me and seems to be looking at my resume for the first time, it's a clue that the company is somewhat hectic and unorganized. And if the interviewer isn't enthused about the company mission or work responsibilities, then how can I be?

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