I recently had the good fortune of taking a week-long paddlewheel steamboat river cruise down the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans. Needless to say, it was both fun and very interesting!

Now, every cruise ship has someone whose job it is to sell future cruises to the passengers. They always give big incentives to book while still on the boat because people are relaxed and having a good time.  

There was a young man who had that job for this cruise. His desk was right out in the open, so everyone would see him while they walked through the central public space on the boat. 

Even though I was on vacation, I was still doing my 10,000-a-day step goal. So every day, I kept walking past him. I didn’t eavesdrop, of course, but I did get a sense of his different conversations with the passengers. He seemed very engaging, and that was my own experience when talking with him about a possible future trip.

I tried to figure out what it was that made him so good at what he did. One time, I just stopped the conversation and complimented him on how I could see he was treating each passenger. It was apparent that he was excellent at his job. He was surprised at my compliment, but his response was very straightforward.

“Everyone deserves to have you look directly into their eyes, pay attention to them, and really listen.”    

It made sense because that is exactly what he did with me. It wasn’t anything about being trained in sales and customer service.  It all had to do with how he actually talked with people.   

It was such a straightforward answer!

 If I had been in a position to do it, I would have offered him a job just based on my watching how he interacted with people. 

So, don’t forget the basics when it comes to interviewing. Sometimes, we forget about them. Be sure to look at the interviewer straight in the eye, pay attention, and listen. You just might get hired partly because you gave the interviewer your full attention.

As an interview coach, I provide guidance on interviewing skills like this. You can schedule a NO CHARGE for an initial consultation. You will have my full attention!