7 Steps to Creating a Good First Impression in a Job Interview
The common adage with interviews is that it’s a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t have to be! Preparation is the key to conducting a successful interview and leaving a good first impression that could carry over into a successful career at the company. Here are seven tips to keep in mind for your next interview.
1) Arrive On Time
Show the company that their time is a priority by arriving on time, or even early. Map out the location beforehand, and take traffic and other factors into account before setting out. While waiting, review your notes or other materials that may be available such as a brochure or magazine. Try not to spend too much time on your cell phone, as this may be viewed as unprofessional.
2) Dress Professionally
Office culture as a whole is becoming more casual, but dressing to impress for an interview is a classic, bulletproof move. Men can depend on a suit or dress pants and a sport coat or blazer, while a skirt and blouse is a classic for women. Find a variation that works for you, but make sure to show up well-groomed and ready!
3) Bring Your Resume
In this digital age, the prerequisite for an interview is almost always an online CV or resume. However, it is a good idea to polish and print out a copy to bring with you to the interview. Some interviewers like to reference a hard copy, and providing one for them shows preparedness.
4) Talk About Yourself Effectively
Some common interview questions ask you to describe three things about yourself, or discuss your previous employment, to name a few. Researching possible topics before they present themselves is an excellent way to prepare and build confidence. Be prepared for all types of questions, and take your time responding.
5) Ask Thoughtful Questions
Your future employee has done their research on you, so make sure you do the same. Read through the company website and identify key values and practices to discuss. Be sure to voice concerns as well, if applicable; this provides answers to vital questions you may have and shows you’ve done your research.
6) Maintain Positivity
Throughout the process, keep a positive attitude and an open mind. Companies look for employees that will add value, as well as morale, to their team. Smiling and laughing are perfectly acceptable; let your personality shine through.
7) Leave A Lasting Impression
Thank the interviewer for their time, and let them know you’re looking forward to hearing from them soon. Another tactful move is to send a follow-up email thanking them again and showing appreciation. This ensures that your first impression carries over after you’ve left the interview.
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