If you remember only one thing from this article, make sure it is this - your attitude will probably make or break a job opportunity. I can't stress this enough. Everyone I talked to pretty much agrees that attitude is a very important factor that they consider when considering a job applicant. "Attitude is critical," says Tom Hilboldt, Manager of Technical Services for Cahokia, Illinois-based Midcoast Aviation. "I would rather hire a mechanic right out of A&P school with a positive attitude than someone with type experience who has a poor attitude. Attitude, enthusiasm, and caring about what they do goes a very long way." H.S.I.'s Freeman concurs. "Attitude is a big one. It is especially critical in a small shop such as mine. I would rather work with someone who has a good attitude and is willing to learn than a very qualified mechanic with a poor attitude. You can train inexperienced mechanics, but someone with a poor attitude can bring others in the shop down and create tension."
Gary Minkin, president of the Mart Corporation, takes it further. "It's about the whole interview process. How they present themselves. Do they care enough to dress nice? Did they take the time to learn about the company beforehand? Do they ask the right questions?" All of these things tie in to the person's attitude. Minkin refers to it as "a fire in their eyes." "It's that enthusiasm that will get them the job," he says. "It's about being a good person and having a good attitude. It's about a desire to learn. In other words, to grow and develop within the company. I also like to know what kind of non-work activities they are involved in. That says a lot about a person." Minkin also pays attention to a person's non-verbal communication. "Are they dressed nicely? Do they have clean nails? Do they look you in the eye when they talk to you? These things say a lot about a person."
Hilboldt also looks at a person's non-verbal communication. "How you present yourself during the interview process is important. A suit and tie presents a good image, and even slacks and a nice shirt are appropriate. It never ceases to amaze me when someone comes in with their shirttails hanging out, blue jeans, and dirty fingernails. I also pay attention to how they react to questions I ask them. Are they confident and poised, or do they seem to squirm and struggle through them?"
In the end, attitude seems to be the most important factor in the interview process. Your attitude will probably make or break a job opportunity. So maintain a positive attitude, present yourself in a professional manner, and your job search will be easier.
Additional articles on job interview tips from AMT:
Secrets to Interview Success: The questions and answers you need to know
By Colleen Malloy, August 2002
You're Hired: Resume writing and interview tips to help land that next job
By Joe Escobar, August 2001
Plan for and conduct a successful job interview
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