Oh first impressions. We all like to think that they really don’t matter, that people should be willing to get to know us before making their decision about us. But the truth of the matter is that first impressions are easily formed, and hard to change. This is especially true during a job interview. During those first few moments after you enter the office, you want to have your best foot forward to make a great first impression.
Here are 6 tips to make sure your next interview starts off with a positive first impression.
- Show up on time and prepared.
- Introduce yourself to the receptionist.
- Don’t use your phone while you wait.
- Introduce yourself with confidence.
- Be aware of your body language.
- Show enthusiasm.
And when we say on time, we really mean no more than 10-15 minutes early. You want to be completely prepared and ready to go, not strolling in at the time of the interview. Have all the materials that the company has requested of you (portfolio, writing samples, references, etc.) In addition, bring 2-3 printed copies of your resume, a notepad, and a pen to takes notes and jot down questions during the interview.
State your name and who you are there to see. If the company told you that the interview is confidential, then be sure you don’t say you are there for an interview. Instead say you have an appointment or meeting scheduled.
A lot of companies have the receptionist give their own impressions of candidates, so while they don’t have the final say, their opinion can have a lot of weight on who gets hired.
Keep your phone on silent or completely turned off until the interview is over. While you are waiting for the interviewer, sit in the waiting area quietly. Either spend the time reviewing your resume or the job description, or browse any materials/pamphlets about the company that may be in the lobby.
Give the interviewer a firm handshake while making eye contact with them. It shows confidence and that you are there for a reason. When you introduce yourself use your and the interviewer’s full names. Example: Hi Joe Smith, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Patricia White. Then, if they tell you that you can use a shortened version of their name, feel free.
It’s normal to be nervous during an interview, but you don’t want that to show. Don’t slouch, or twiddle your thumbs. Instead, be sure to sit up straight and have your hands folded in your lap or on the table in front of you. Be mindful of any nervous habits, and do your best to minimize them.
Demonstrate that you are passionate about the company, their mission, and/or the role you would play within the organization. It shows that you will take initiative on projects, work hard and bring something special to the table; that you’re not just looking for any old job to pay the bills. Employees who are enthusiastic are more likely to be engaged at work, a trait all employers desire.
If you’re looking for a new job, let Key Resource Group be a partner during your job search. Not only do we have access to jobs that aren’t posted anywhere else in Western New York, but our recruiters will provide you with interview and job search tips to make sure you make a good first impression and ultimately land that new job.