How to Make a Good First Impression
First impressions matter. So if you want to score your dream job, you need to present yourself in the best possible light to a potential employer. Let’s explore how you can do just this:
Get your timing right
It’s important to be on-time to your interview. Be respectful of your interviewer’s time and the time you have agreed upon to meet. If you find that you have arrived 30 minutes before schedule, then take this time to grab a coffee and calm your nerves. You want to go in to the interview with a clear mind so you can really showcase how great of a candidate you are. Conversely, if you are late, it may come across as though you don’t value the interviewer’s time or care enough about the role. It’s best to arrive just a few minutes early so you are ready for a timely start and are calm enough to be able to communicate properly and put your best foot forward.
Dress to impress
According to Forbes, it takes 7 seconds for someone to make a first impression. So use those 7 seconds wisely. Your outfit speaks measures about you before you even open your mouth, so make sure it’s saying the right things. You want your outfit to say ‘I am the right fit for this role’. If you can dress the part, then you are part-way there. It’s about nailing the basics – it comes down to being neat and tidy and dressing in a way that is relevant for the role. You’ll want to wear something you are comfortable in, but first make sure that it’s both clean and professional looking. Investing in a good suit is a great place to start as you’ll get to use it more than once but it’ll also be fit for purpose. Okay, not every company will expect you to be fully suited and booted every day, such as a young tech start-up, but it’s always better to overdress than underdress. If you turn up to the employer’s office and spot that you look a little out of place, you can always remove the suit jacket or tie to tone it down.
Know your stuff
You should have enough knowledge of the hiring company in your arsenal to draw upon when the tricky questions come out. Be aware of what the company does, what it wants to achieve and its values. Use the interview as an opportunity to demonstrate that you share in the company’s vision and will work hard in the role. Doing this research will give you a boost in the interview process as it shows that you value the role and are eager to prove yourself. Conversely, a lack of preparedness may give the interviewer the impression that you are not serious about the position and they will thus not consider you as a serious candidate.
Set yourself apart
You should also never underestimate the power of good conversation. If you can hold your own and communicate clearly, you have a major step up in the interview process. Articulate exactly what it is that you bring to the table and your interviewer will be impressed.
Being prepared is important. Having some questions ready to throw your interviewer’s way communicates a level of interest which will work in your favour. We suggest asking three questions pertaining to what was asked of you during the interview. Our sage advice: steer clear of questions relating to salary and workplace benefits. You want to demonstrate that you are interested in the actual role and have the qualities the company is looking for – not come across as someone who is only interested in what benefits they themselves can get out of the position.
Make eye contact
Strong eye contact communicates that you are attentive, interested and respectful of the other person’s time. It can also make you appear more confident, which can never go astray. Your body language and eye contact can say a lot about you, so use it to your advantage to demonstrate that you are a great candidate from the get-go. You don’t want to be locked in a staring contest with the interviewer, it’s not that intense, but you do want to show that you are interested in what they are saying by maintaining eye contact throughout your interview. Master this, and you’re one step closer to solidifying that great impression and landing your ideal job.