How to make a great first impression at your next interview
Did you know that people will form a first impression within the first 15 seconds of meeting you?
And once this impression is formed, it’s hard to change it. With that in mind, the first impression you make at a job interview can be the difference between landing a job or going back to the drawing board, so it’s important to know how you can make the most of your first interaction.
Whether you’re meeting with a recruitment agent or potential employer here are some tips on how to make a positive and long-lasting impression.
Remember, it starts before you meet
Good first impressions don’t just start when you physically meet someone – your interactions leading up to your interview are just as important as that initial handshake.
Before you send your resume make sure it’s up to date and includes your most recent position, as this is what a prospective employer will be most interested in. You should also contact your referees to inform them of your intention to apply. Make sure you provide them with an overview of the roles you are applying for and the core skill set required. This will help them provide a tailored and relevant reference.
If you’re speaking to a recruiter or potential employer on the phone speak clearly and smile – even though they can’t see you this helps convey a friendly tone in your voice. Before the phone call, make sure you have your elevator pitch ready and follow up any necessary tasks promptly. Did you say you would send an email with your interview availability? Make sure you do that as soon as getting off the phone.
Be on time
As a general rule try to be at least 15 minutes early to your interview. Running late for an interview generally sets the tone of the meeting, and will put you on the back foot before you’ve even had a chance to prove yourself.
Take some time before your interview to research how you will get there and where you will park if you’re driving. On the day of your interview, make sure you allow yourself more time than you need so that unexpected transport delays and congestion are not going to have an impact.
Dress to impress
The way you present yourself is powerful, especially when meeting someone for the first time. When you attend an interview you’re setting the tone for the kind of person and employee that you are.
Be sure to present yourself in a way that shows you care about the interaction at hand. Dress with consideration and care so that your physical appearance conveys your professionalism and respect.
Focus on your body language
Your body language – how you hold your arms, your posture, and your facial expressions – have a significant impact on the perception of you.
When you arrive to your interview be sure to smile, maintain eye contact and avoid crossing your arms. This body language shows that you are open, friendly and self-confident.
You can guarantee at the end of your interview you will be asked, “do you have any questions?”
Recruiters and employers will expect at least one question which demonstrates your interest in the company and/or the role. So remember to do some research on the interviewer and the company and form your list of questions. Start your research by visiting the company’s website (especially their blog), and LinkedIn pages.
Nothing makes a better impression than being prepared. So make sure you know what they are looking for and practice presenting yourself in the best light.
Are you a senior professional looking for job opportunities? Logical Executive Solutions can help you find the perfect position for your level of experience. Give one of our experts a call on 03 8620 2807 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.