According to Forbes magazine, in just 7 seconds a person develops an impression of you. This includes job interviewers. With that in mind, are you doing the best you can to make your first meeting with an interviewer positive and memorable? Below are some tips to help you maximize your first impression with a potential employer.
#1. Get there on time.
This sounds like a no-brainer. But, as a staffing agency with over 25 years of experience, Peoplelink knows that many times candidates arrive late or with seconds to spare, which not only sends a negative message to the interviewer, but also leaves the candidate feeling stressed. Not a good way to start an interview!
Practical tip: Do a test run before the interview. Drive out to the interview location so that you know how to get there on the big day. Time how long it takes and then give yourself at least an extra 15 minutes to get there on the actual interview day. Also, if you need to park on the street, make sure you have change if needed.
#2. Dress sharply.
It’s unfortunate but true that most first impressions rely solely on physical looks. So if your suit is ill-fitting, or you’re not wearing appropriate attire, the interviewer will mentally check you off the list as a viable candidate. So don’t let something as silly as a too-short skirt (for women), or too-long hair (for men) negatively impact your ability to get the job.
Practical tip: Wear a suit to your interview. Even if you think the company has more of a casual atmosphere, still wear a suit. It’s far better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. And looking sharp will make you stand out in a sea of other candidates who dressed too casually.
#3. Find out everything you can about the company.
It’s important to walk into an interview armed with all the information available about the company’s services, competitors, key players and challenges. And with the Internet, finding out all that information shouldn’t be too difficult. Being knowledgeable not only makes you look well prepared to the interviewer, but it will also enable you to ask more insightful questions.
Practical tip: Read through the company’s website, including the About page, Services page, Management Team page and Company News section to learn all you can. Also, conduct an online search for any news articles about the company. Use LinkedIn and other social media sites to see if you’re connected in any way to the interviewer or to any key personnel at the company.
#4. Be prepared to answer tough questions.
This doesn’t mean you need to prepare a canned answer to common interview questions. Interviewers are looking for insight and authenticity during job interviews. But it does mean you need to be ready to answer some hard questions about your past, the value you bring to the table, and where you want your career to go in the future.
Practical tip: Do some research ahead of time about possible interview questions, so you know what could come your way. But when answering, let your personality shine through. Also think of a few key accomplishments that are most relevant to the position that you’d like the interviewer to know about. Be sure to bring those up if the interviewer doesn’t ask you questions about them.
Need more help making a great first impression?
Give Peoplelink a call. As a leading staffing agency, we can help you prep for interviews and connect you with job opportunities that are a great match for your skills and experience. Contact us today if you’d like to get started.