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 conversation.