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Interviews can be daunting, but it is important to remember the client has chosen to meet with you because they believe you have the necessary skills and experience, and might be right for the role. If you keep this in mind to settle any nerves about your abilities, you can focus on showcasing your other strengths – the soft skills, work ethic and values that will prove to the employer that you are right for the role.
Below I’ll highlight my suggestions on how to set the best first impression in interviews, from my experience as a recruitment consultant at Tiger Private.
It sounds obvious, but punctuality is essential. It will ensure you can perform to the best of your ability in the interview without feeling flustered or panicked about the time.
With train strikes, traffic jams, road works and signal failures, lots can get in your way! Check your route the day before and on the day of the interview and leave plenty of time for your journey. You must remember that the client does not know you, therefore, if you are late for your first interview, it is easy for them to assume you are always late and always unreliable. If you are running late, don’t panic – most clients are understanding, just be sure to communicate with your consultant. Clients are much more likely to be forgiving if we can pre-warn them.
Sometimes, being too early can be a cause of frustration for clients. If you are more than five minutes early, use the time to make certain of the meeting spot and gather your thoughts over a quick walk around the block, or a coffee.
Interviews are formal occasions, so it is best to reflect this in your appearance, even if the job you are interviewing for does not require formal dress. The client will appreciate the effort you have made on your presentation. A smart appearance will give the impression you are prepared, professional and fully invested in the opportunity.
Prior to your interview be sure to do any research and understand the job description. You will find the benefits are threefold. Firstly, it will help you to feel more confident, especially when you see parallels between your experience and the requirements for the role. Secondly, it will help you to choose which parts of your skillset to highlight when talking with the client. Finally, the client will be impressed that you have spent time understanding the requirements for the role, it will be a signal that you are engaged, switched on and interested in the job.
Avoid technical hiccups!
Increasingly, first-stage interviews are held online via platforms such as Zoom, WhatsApp video and FaceTime, as they are convenient and time efficient. Making a good first impression via video relies upon logistics to help eliminate technical issues. Use this checklist to ensure you are prepared: check your internet connection, ensure your laptop/mobile is fully charged, find a quiet place to have the call where there is a neat, professional backdrop (aim for a plain white wall whilst sitting at a desk, avoid bedrooms or a backdrop of a bed).
My final tip is: be yourself, smile, and remain engaged. If you have followed the previous four recommendations, your chance of any mishaps will be low, so you should feel at your most confident and prepared. Remember, Tiger put you forward for the role because we feel you are a good fit for the position, so take that self-belief into the interview!
For more advice on job hunting, check out our jobseekers resources page. If you’re just starting out your search, register with Tiger today.