Making a good first impression is ten times as important as how you answer your interview questions.
As with many occasions in life, the first impression may be the last impression also in a job interview.
Knowing how to handle yourself during the interview may not be enough to ensure the best first impression. There is much to do the weeks and days before, and even on the day of the interview, you can still prepare.
Work on both angles for best results.
This article provides tips for your first interview process. This series of articles contains:
- Introduction – First quick tips
- Preparation tips and Important advice
- First impression count
- Questions that are asked in the first round interview.
1. Before the Interview: Preparing for a Good impression
Let’s have a look at what you should do right before the interview to ensure you don’t make a bad first impression.
1.) Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More this is not right before. Not sure which part to change. This is what you should do a week, a month, etc. before. All along.
Practice with a friend and in front of a mirror. Each method can help you improve your presentation in a different way. Your friend can give you quick, immediate feedback, while standing in front of a mirror is something you can do for a few minutes and carefully scrutinize yourself, checking for any awkward or weird facial expressions, as well as poor body language.
2.) Memorize Your Resume
There’s little worse than saying something contradictory to what you have put on your resume.
Even the slightest inconsistency won’t sit well. For example, you say you volunteered at the Red Cross for 6 months but on your resume you wrote Kids on Wheels. Memorize your resume! Re-read it right before the interview – that morning, while traveling and in the waiting room.
3. ) Dress in Business Attire
Plan and prepare your outfit the night before.
There should be no wrinkled clothing, no scuffed shoes, no casual or club wear, and in today’s world it’s best to avoid perfume or cologne since many work environments are scent free. Even when applying for a job where casual attire will be acceptable, business attire is still required for the interview . For men this means a suit and tie. For women it means a business suit or dress, heels (max 2”) and hosiery. Choose muted colors, black, gray, navy, and white.
4. ) Scan the Morning News
Have a look at what the morning paper brings to the table.
There may be something about the company you are applying to or there may be an interesting article on something within the industry. Either way if there’s something of interest it’s a great way to start your interview off in the right direction.
2. Impression during the Job Interview
You’ve done your preparation, now it’s time to focus on how to make a good first impression during your interview, including a nice smile, sound handshake, and concise answers.
It is said that – The first few minutes of an interview are crucial to make the right impression on the interviewer.
Let’s look a little further.
1. ) Have a Copy of a Resume in Hand
Ask the interviewer if he/she wants a copy.
Don’t be shy. Even if you sent a copy ahead of time. No use in bringing your resume and hiding it in your portfolio. Bring it along and offer it up.
2. ) Project Positive Energy and Motivation
This is so important.
Most of us are nervous during an interview but we cannot let that show. You need to come across enthusiastic, upbeat, and cheerful. Let your positive energy show. Be sure to smile a lot, even laugh a little when appropriate.
3. ) Ask Smart Questions
It happens too often.
The candidate is too scared to ask questions. But, in fact, a very important factor that can generate a positive outcome and a first impression is asking intelligent questions. Prepare a couple of questions ahead of time. Below are a few good samples.
- If I get the job, what would be your advice to help me get the best start?
- What do you feel is the most common mistake(s) you see new employees make?
- I am very interested in (insert industry, function, etc.) What’s the best way to gain experience?
Do your homework, and you’re ready to impress the interviewer – and make a first impression that’s lasting.
“My first impression is as important as my first baby step was – it’s going to move me forward in life.”
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”