A first meeting sets the tone for what could be a lasting relationship, and it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion of you based on your body language, demeanor, mannerisms and dress.
This makes it extremely important to make a great first impression
during a job interview. As they say, you never get a second chance to
make a first impression!
These pointers will ensure you feel prepared and put your best foot forward at your next interview.
1. Do your research
‘What do you know about the company?’ is often the first question
asked during an interview so it’s crucial to read up on both the
organisation and position beforehand to make a positive impression.
Looking at some of the company’s recent news stories or blogs will show
that you’ve done your research and will create some good topics for
conversation. If the role is something new to you, it won’t hurt to
Google search what’s typically expected and let the interviewer fill in
the gaps. Your research will also help to form questions to ask the
interviewer which will further highlight your preparedness and keen
interest in the opportunity.
2. Be on time
This should be obvious, but being punctual is vital! If you’re late
for your interview, how can you expect the interviewer to believe you’ll
ever be on time for work? If you really can’t help running late, make
sure you call up and let them know your reasons as soon as possible.
Never leave them waiting for you. On the other side of the coin, you
don’t want to turn up too early either, arriving five to ten minutes
before your scheduled interview time is good etiquette and will give you
a little time to prepare yourself.
3. Dress to impress
An interviewer will begin forming an opinion of you at the moment you
are introduced so dressing appropriately and professionally is key to
making a good first impression. Even if you know the job will allow you
to dress casually, it’s best to make the extra effort and dress as
smartly as you can to show that you are dedicated and serious about
wanting the job.
4. Be prepared to talk about yourself
From an employer’s perspective, an interview is a way to get to know
you and find out if you’re the right person for the job. It’s therefore
only natural for you to be the main topic for conversation. Make sure
that you know the contents of your CV really well so you are confident
in discussing your previous experiences and skills naturally and the
reasons how they could help you in the role. Prepare yourself by looking
up some common interview questions to get an idea of how you’ll answer
them, then keep practicing!
5. Have questions ready
It’s important to remember that an interview is a two-way
conversation and interviewers will always provide a chance for you to
ask questions. Make the most of the opportunity and prepare these prior
to the meeting. Not only is this a great chance to find out more about
the job, it also shows that you’ve spent time to properly think about
the opportunity and will make you stand out from the crowd.
6. Communication is key
Demonstrating good communication skills and body language is integral
to make a lasting impression. Keep your head up, smile and introduce
yourself, while offering a firm handshake. It’s completely normal to be
nervous, giving yourself a little breathing time between questions will
help you to gather your thoughts and respond clearly and succinctly. Eye
contact is also essential and shows that you’re engaged in the