Five tips to make the best first impression in interviews
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…
Interviews can be extremely daunting. You are expected to be nervous. However, there are simple steps you can use to make that next interview a breeze.
There is no such thing as being over-prepared. As soon as you hear from your agency that you have an interview, this is when you start researching. Take the time to go through the job spec with a fine-toothed comb. The more you know about the role in mind, the more likely you are to ask the relevant questions the interviewer wants to hear. You will need to understand the position and what your responsibilities will be.
Look on the company’s website and read up on what exactly they do. Most companies will have an ‘About Us’ and will give profiles on directors on their website. Use these pages to your advantage. Ensure you know everything you can about your potential future company and colleagues. You will often be quizzed on what you know about the role and company, or why you would like to work for the company. The better you are prepared to answer these questions, the easier the interview will be and the conversation will flow.
If your recruitment consultant has not told you who will be interviewing you – ask. Your consultant will know who you will be meeting with. It is best to read up on this person too. You need to blow this person away and impress them. Ask them relevant questions about their role and team. First impressions are so important in an interview; show your interviewer that you are proactive and that you use initiative by conducting research.
Arrive early for your interview. It is often beneficial to have a practice run of your route to the office. If you are using public transport, leave plenty of time to allow for delays. Know exactly where you are heading and which office entrance to use.
Remember to have a good look over your CV prior to your interview. The interviewer will be going through your past experience and asking about each point on your CV. You need to remember everything you have put on it and be able to go into detail about your previous roles, experience and skills.
Look the part
Plan your outfit for your interview. Ensure everything you require is washed, ironed and ready to wear. Hang the clothes separately and leave them in an accessible place. Ladies, heels can look the part, but platform skyscraper heels should certainly be left at home. Do not feel like you absolutely have to wear a heel. A smart loafer can look just as professional, and be far less painful!
Gents, shave the night before, and treat yourself to a smart new haircut. You do not want to go into an interview looking scruffy. Ladies, ensure hair is looking perfect. It may be best to tie it up to avoid and distractions to both you and your interviewer.
If you are wearing a coat, remember to take it off as you walk into the room and place it on the back of the chair. It will make both you and your interview feel uncomfortable and on edge should you choose to keep it on.
Have a light snack before your interview, but ensure that it does not smell! You do not want to go into the interview with a grumbling stomach, but you certainly do not want to go in with smelly breath! Smoking is also a no go! Of course, you may be nervous and smokers, it will be difficult not to. Please try not to! The smell of stale smoke is not attractive.
Be the part
Be part of the yes movement! Show your interviewer that you have the can-do attitude that they require. You will want to come across as proactive and keen to take on any work necessary.
Tell your potential employer that you are happy to work out of working hours when needed, whether this be at home or in the office. Demonstrate how you are the person they need on their team. Explain about the skills which you set you apart from the other candidates. If you have a portfolio of work which you can show in your interview, do this. It is proof that you can ace this role, and show that you are the perfect candidate.
When you meet with your interviewer, be polite. Keep a firm handshake and greet your interviewer with a smile. Stand tall and keep the right posture. By slouching in your seat, you will come across as not interested. You need to show your potential employers that you are the positive person they want on their team.
Do remember to keep eye contact – it can be extremely off putting if a candidate cannot look the interviewer in the eye. This will also show that you are actively listening to what the interviewer is informing you, as well as asking you. Be confident, but not over confident! You want to come across as a positive person, but you do not want to come across as arrogant.
A ‘thank you’ goes a long way! After your interview, take the time to send an e-mail to either your recruitment consultant or directly to the interviewer. A short note to say thank you for their time is polite and shows that you are very interested in the role you are interviewing for.
For more interview tips and techniques, check out our advice here.
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