In just shy of two weeks I have an interview scheduled for a position that is, essentially, a slam-dunk as far as experience and specialization
is concerned. My concern is that while I've spent the last three years doing this work in the non-profit sector, I'm interviewing for a position across the aisle with a major mortgage servicer.
I'm a bit nervous because I'm very comfortable and used to interacting with individuals and entities within the non-profit sector which, understandably, tends to be more "relaxed" compared to large banks. There are a few things I'm slightly worried/nervous/scared about, as I'm really, really hopeful that this will turn out well. The job itself is specifically perfect for my development and background, and these sorts of opportunities don't come along very often in my location. In the two or so years I have consistently sought postings, this is the first of it's kind that has been based out of my city that I've been able to come across.
Background, if necessary, is that this is a long-term applicant search. I submitted a resume early last month and completed a first phone interview. I was called last week to come in for a face-to-face second interview in two weeks, and the final decision, I was told, would probably be made around late August/early September. The process alone is stretched to nearly three months, which is far from the usual 2-3 day turn around time from resume out to hired I've had for my last three positions in the non-profit world.
Questions that are still lingering:
*I have my eyebrow pierced with a pretty unobtrusive barbell. Behind my glasses it can barely be seen and most people don't even notice. I have never been concerned before, but I'm thinking it's probably a good idea to put in a retainer for the interview to be safe, right? The direct supervisor for the position is located in the south, which tends to have different standards than the northeast.
*References will, in all likelihood, be asked for. I'm having a dilemma in which I believe I can easily provide two good individuals, but I'm a bit stumped for the third and am considering listing an individual that I worked with for a hobby-like "business". He's a author and I published a small collection of his work. Are there any issues with this, as he doesn't have any real professional experience with anything close to relevant?
*I'll be wearing a suit and getting a good haircut the week before, is there anything presentation wise I may be overlooking?
*I'm a heavy smoker, and while this has never been a problem before, I have always been told to not smoke before an interview. I'm, frankly, not really capable of this as otherwise I'll be a nervous wreck. I'm willing to take the chance, but any suggestions on how to not smell like a smoker, even if I have a cigarette 20-30 minutes before it begins?
Lastly, I'm prone to read into things quite a lot. I'm maintaining a confident, "I'm perfect for this" attitude (I am), and feel like I'm being seen as a strong candidate. I'm curious if anyone has been in corporate hiring positions and would know if being made the very first interview in a 2-3 day interview period either could mean something as I was certainly not the first one to go during the first round of phone interviews? (I'm pretty much aware that the answer to this is that I'm being an over-analyzing goof).
Any other advice or words of warning are always appreciated. I know I'm probably stressing over little things, but I want to do my due diligence in ensuring that I feel ready to walk in that door.