It should be known that the most important part of a job interview is the beginning. It is when you have an opportunity to make a great impression—or a not so good one—on your interviewer. Many interviewers and bosses usually know, within the first few seconds of talking with interviewees, if they’re worth a shot at being hired or not.
This means that first impressions actually matter. It is advised that in an interview you make the best first impression that you can in the first few minutes and you must carry that impression throughout the interview. Why? Because it means you have a better shot at being called in for a second interview and a job offer.
So, here are 23 Quick Tips To Make The Best Impression At An Interview;
- Practice might not make perfect, but it does help you make a good impression. Review the interview questions that employers most frequently ask and think about how you’ll answer them.
- Know something about the company. Take the time to research the organization, so you know as much as possible about it. That way you’ll be prepared to answer questions about what you know about the company.
- Review the job posting. Know as much as you can about the job. Review the job posting and know what the employer is looking for in the person they hire. Also take a look at your cover letter and resume, so you are clear about what you can offer the employer.
- Check out the interviewer on LinkedIn. Take a minute or two and check out the interviewer on LinkedIn if you can find them. That will give you a sense of the person you’ll be meeting with, as well as their career path and tenure with the company.
- Get the inside scoop. Besides researching the organization, see if you can get some inside information on the company and its employees. Check LinkedIn, Facebook, and your college alumni network to see if you know anyone who can share insider information with you.
- Wear the right interview attire. It can be really awkward if you show up at a job interview overdressed—or underdressed. If you’re not sure what to wear, check out these tips for how to dress for an interview so you make the best first impression.
- Go light, very light, on the perfume or cologne. That boss I mentioned didn’t like smelling perfume so if someone overdid it, they could knock themselves out of contention before they even shook his hand.
- Show up on time. You’ve heard it a million times: “If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late.” Being punctual should be a given —especially when your dream job is on the line. But no matter how many times you’ve heard it, it’s worth mentioning again: Show up on time.
- Bring only the essentials. A jolt of caffeine may be necessary for you to get pumped up for your impending meeting, but don’t bring your paper cup inside the office to finish off the last few sips. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal (who doesn’t drink coffee in the workplace?)—but you probably don’t want your first interaction with your potential employer (or even the receptionist) to be anything along the lines of, “Hey, you got a trash can back there?”
- Put your phone away. It’s a natural tendency to pull out your smartphone any time you have to wait: in line at the grocery store, during commercials, while you wait for the vending machine to dispense your Coke—you get the picture. But if you’re waiting in the lobby, don’t automatically default to your phone. Instead, take that time to look over your resume and think through what you want to convey during your interview.
- Be nice to the receptionist. The person at the front desk may not be the hiring manager—but that doesn’t mean his or her impression of you doesn’t matter. In fact, some companies specifically ask their front desk attendants to report back on the demeanor of interviewees who come through the door. And that likely plays a role in the ultimate hiring decision—so it’s important to treat that person as well as you’ll treat your interviewer.
- Have a good handshake. When you are greeted by the interviewer, offer to shake hands and introduce yourself.
- Avoid sweaty palms. Nobody wants to touch a slimy wet hand. If you can, visit the restroom on the way to the interview, wash and thoroughly dry your hands. When that’s not possible, use a tissue to make sure your hands are dry.
- Take a deep breath. Then another one. Interviews can be really stressful. While you’re in the restroom, take a few deep breaths and remember that you’re here because you were chosen to interview.
- You don’t want to overdo it, but think positive and smile when you’re meeting the interviewer and when it’s appropriate during the interview. Positive people with strong interpersonal skills are more likely to be hired.
- Don’t panic. Even if you’ve done all the right prep work, you can be taken off guard by an interview question that you weren’t expecting. Prepare for the worst, so you don’t have to panic when faced with tough questions.
- Show your enthusiasm. On a related note, show your enthusiasm and passion for what you do and what you’d like to do in your next job. It’s fine to let the interviewer know that you love your work and are excited about this opportunity.
- Share how you’re a great fit for the job.Back up your enthusiasm with facts. It’s not enough to say that you’ve got the right stuff for the job. Be specific and show the employer why and how you’re qualified.
- Don’t recite your resume. They already have it. Instead, look for situations where you shined bright like a diamond in your previous positions. What was the problem you encountered? How did you solve it? Was it solvable? If not, what lessons did you learn?
- Take strategic pauses during your conversation. They’ll usually have a bottle of water available for you. But if not, have one with you. Apart from the fact that you might get thirsty, it is a good way to take occasional sips just to gather your thoughts.
- Connect with your interviewers: Think about their needs. Their pain. Their struggles. Think vulnerability. Every conversation you have with an interviewer should make them want to have you. You have to connect with them emotionally, not just logically to make them want to have you NOW.
- Understand and be understood: You definitely want to make sure that what you’re communicating is being understood the way you intend. You want to make sure that others see you the way you see yourself.
- Think deeply about your core values. They want to know that you have leadership/communication skills and can amplify your voice when the need arises. You might be asked questions that seem trifling or nonsensical. However, ponder those questions carefully. They aren’t necessarily trick questions but they are designed to know if you’re a critical thinker or not.
Bonus Tip: Share a story or two. Don’t just state your qualifications. Instead, use your storytelling skills to share examples of what you have achieved at work. There’s nothing better than a real life story to engage your interviewer and show what you can do.