The First Impression
Creating a good first impression is often the most challenging aspect of a job interview as you only get one chance to impress. There are some obvious physical aspects to creating a good first impression such as; taking a shower, having fresh breath and looking well groomed. However, there are other aspects to having a positive first impact that go beyond the obvious details such as ironing your shirt.
- Be Punctual- even the best laid plans can be subject to unexpected change. Aim to be at least 45 minutes early for your interview, go sit in a nearby coffee shop until it is appropriate to go to the place of interview. Remember that you cannot account for traffic congestion or public transport delays, so give yourself ample time. Being on time creates a good first impression and also reduces your stress levels making your more relaxed.
- Greeting- be aware that your interview unofficially starts once you enter the location of the formal interview. Make sure to be polite and turn off your phone while waiting and for the duration of the interview. When greeting your interviewer make sure to stand, make eye contact, shakes hands and smile. It may feel weird or unusual but it will help create a good first impression.
- Make conversation- the key to doing this is to prepare some questions beforehand that express your complete interest in the role and the company as a whole. Listen carefully to what the interviewer says and sue the new information to form some more questions. Questions will keep the interview following and depict you in a good light.
- Don not be afraid to make some small talk- while the interview itself may be professionally based, you should still be able to connect on a personal level. This will help you stand out and portray you as relatable and friendly.
- Don’t forget to thank the interviewer at the end and ensure that you stay professional all the way out of the building, no matter how well or not so the well the interview went.
- Follow up- make sure your voicemail is clear and professional in case the interviewer rings you with news and leaves a message. Send a thank you note or email.
There are some things that could reflect badly on you in an interview and have negative effects on the first impression of you.
- Don’t be late- this immediately creates a bad impression of you and portrays a lack of seriousness for the role
- Don’t complain about your previous company- this shows disloyalty and is ugly behaviour. It may turn prospective employers off you. So try to find something positive to say even if you hated your previous employer.
- Don’t allow yourself to ramble
- Don’t show up unprepared
You only have once chance to make a good first impression so make sure you take into account these pointers before attending an interview.