How to Make a Good First Impression at an Interview
If you have been shortlisted for an interview, you should know that the hiring company sees you as a potential employee. They feel you are qualified for the job judging by what you have in your resume. However, this is not a reason for you to relax. There must be a thousand and one applicants for the same position. Others shortlisted must have been considered qualified as well. Thus, for the interview, you are competing against other candidates with great prospects and high chances of landing the job as well. It’s therefore important that you make a good first impression at an interview.
The early parts of your job interview are quite crucial. A minute is enough for some hiring managers to draw an opinion of you. They usually don’t have that much patience neither do they have the excess time to spare considering the fact that they have a handful of other candidates to interview. For this reason, you just have to make every second count.
Let’s talk about ways of impressing your potential employers and leaving them with a positive opinion of you. The aim here is to increase your chances of creating a positive lasting impression that would ultimately land you your dream job.
Steps to take to make a good first impression
Below we discuss a couple of tips that can help you make the right first impression as soon as you walk in the room.
Don’t go for an interview void of knowledge
Before going for an interview, you should make sure you have researched the company and have known one or two things about them. You should know the company’s goals and objectives. You should know what the company stands for and what they represent. Make inquiries about their dressing culture. Also, inquire about the position you are applying for and what is required of you. Enquire about the kind of interviews they conduct and their pattern of conducting interviews. If there is a way you can get information about the person that would interview you, then, by all means, get the necessary information. Getting informed about them would give you a clue to the type of person you would be facing.
If you want the job, dress for it
Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Dress the way you want to be addressed and dress for the position you are applying for. With the right dressing, you exude some aura of charisma and draw the right attention to yourself. Once again, do not wear oversized or undersized clothes. Don’t go all flashy with your attire, you could draw attention with it but mostly the wrong attention. Your clothing should not be exposing parts of your body that are not meant to be exposed. go for classic rather than trendy. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry and heavy perfumes.
Be punctual for your interviews
This rule is not just for formal interviews but for the casual interviews. There have been stories and cases of people being disqualified because they came late for their interviews while those that came early were considered for the job. Recruiters have zero tolerance for late coming. If at all you have a reasonable reason why you would be showing up late, then put a call across to them to let them know. By coming late, you would be putting your dream job on the line.
While we lay emphasis on punctuality, being too punctual on the other hand could be ridiculous. Appearing for a 9 a.m. job by 6:30 a.m. sounds ridiculously early. Learn not to overdo it. 15-30 minutes punctuality is good enough. It shows you are sensible enough.
Walk with your head up
In other words, enter the organization or any room with confidence. The way you make your entrance into a room speaks volumes about you. Therefore, your entrance should be a grand one. A grand one doesn’t necessarily mean a loud chattering or annoyingly seeking to be noticed. A grand entrance would reflect in the confident steps you take into the room. If you walk in with fear or uncertainty, people will surely notice. Acknowledge the presence of others in the room, greet them, shake hands with them, and have a smile to your face while at it.
Be polite to all and sundry
You do not know who could be watching you. Do not be rude to the gateman just because you feel he is only but a gateman. Do not disrespect the receptionist because you think it is not up to them to decide if you will be hired or not. Be careful how you treat anyone you come across in the company. Show kindness to all. Aside from the fact that it could help you land your job, be respectful because it is the right thing to do. Courtesy demands that you treat everyone right.
Bring along with you only the essential credentials
Surely, you know the documents the company requires before your date of interview. Sort them out and have them placed in a different file. This makes for easy access during the interview. You could create a funny scenario trying to rummage through a scattered pile of papers with some slipping off to the floor or flying all over the place. You will only end up painting the picture of someone that is clumsy, not organized, and uncoordinated. For your first impression, make sure your file is organized and your documents readily available. The less you have to rummage through your portfolio, the better.
Give a firm handshake to make the right first impression
The first time you meet with your interviewer, shake his or her hands, and introduce yourself. A handshake is impressive and shows you are not nervous. However, you should keep it firm and brief. Ensure that your hands are dry and not sweaty before extending them for a handshake. Wear a smile while at it.
Get the name of your interviewer right
Research the names and titles of your prospective interviewers. You can check up their profile on LinkedIn or make inquiries from the human resource unit and have it memorized before the interview. It is usually nice and impressive when you are able to get his or her name right at your first meeting. Subsequently addressing them by their name or title creates a pleasant and conducive atmosphere for the interview.
Maintain a good posture
A good posture is a sign that you are composed, coordinated, and prepared. It also shows confidence. You should stand or sit up straight. Do not lean on objects or structures and you should speak up loud and clear.
Act like you are interested and excited about the job. Show that you are passionate about the job and at the same time show enthusiasm for what you do and what you plan to do when you finally get the job. This will also make you to actively engage the interviewer.
Interviews we know sounds scary but it is nothing to be scared of especially if you know you are qualified for the job. Consider it a test you have to pass to claim what is rightfully yours. Irrespective of who is interviewing or who your competitors are, you just have to be at your best. One way to tell you are not afraid is when you maintain eye contact with your interviewers. Show them you are fully prepared and capable by looking them in the eyes when they are talking to you or while answering their questions.
It is okay to use compliments
You could throw the interviewer a compliment especially if it is a casual interview. A little flattery like, “I love your dress” and “Your watch is lovely” would put the interviewer in the right mood. You should, however, mind the language you use. Do not use an unprofessional or inappropriate language.
Connect with the interviewer
This is partly why it is good you research on the interviewer before your interview. In that manner, you can find a common ground to connect with them. Tell a story you know they would be familiar with and give instances they can possibly relate to.
Wear a smile (always)
Smiling has a calming effect both on the person smiling and on the person that was smiled to. And, there is no better way of approaching your interviewer than approaching them with a smile. It makes you look a lot approachable and friendly.
Send a follow-up message
After the interview, it is always nice to follow up with a note, an email, or even a phone call. It is an opportunity for you to thank the interviewer, repeat why you are the best candidate for the job and a final chance for you to make the best first impression.
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic