How to create a Great First Impression on your Job Interview
35% of the survey respondents consisting of hiring Managers indicated that they could decide whether or not to reject a candidate within the first 30 seconds of a job interview.
The interview doesn’t start when you start talking, it begin much before that, it actually starts right from the time you interact with a recruiter, who then cascades your feedback to the hiring manager and so on.
It’s a cumulative process of all the experience gained by individuals that you’ve come across with from the company during the Recruitment process.
Some hiring managers also check with 3rd parties like external recruitment consultants for feedback.
A good first Impression can make a huge impact to your likelihood of you moving ahead in the recruitment process.
Here are the top 10 pointers for you to make a great first impression in a Job Interview
Your Attire: Clothes, Shoes and even Body Odor
Depending on the setting its always preferred to dress up in formals or Business attire, the clothes should be pressed and clean and neat. Your shoes should be clean and polished. There can be exceptions here were startups or companies with a casual work culture do even mention your acceptable attire in the interview invitation.
You would have to do your research on such cases on whats acceptable to do, Hint: Its doesn’t hurt asking the recruiter on what the norm is. While is expected for you as a candidate not to wear perfume for an interview as I some instances the Interviewer could be allergic to your perfume and it might have a big impact to your interview as the interviewer would look for ways to get rid of you.
Try to use antiperspirant or odorless deos that will not cause any irritation to people around you. Both good and bad odor can put off an interviewer and that’s what you should avoid.
Being Good To EVERYONE
From the security guard to the receptionist to the Recruiter, be GOOD.
Be good, be kind, be polite, there’s no way you can get away with being rude to the receptionist and acing the interview.
1st thing is you might not be allowed for the interview and if you’re allowed the interview will know about your behavior soon, these things don’t go un noticed in good companies, especially when the interviewer’s looking for a candidate that will match the company culture.
Your communication with the recruiter or HR personal arranging the interview
You’re judged at every stage even while you talk to the recruiter or the HR coordinator. Be polite in your speech, be courteous and write your emails like you write to your best clients.
Don’t take any step for grated, your being observed and watched at every stage, any bad feedback by those you have come in contact with during the interview process can go against you.
It’s also very important to be punctual. Although it’s good to be at the interview venue early, don’t been in too early, usually 15 to 20 mins before time should suffice.
You can plan you’re travel such that you reach the venue 30 mins before time but you don’t need to step in to the company premise that early. Its preferred you take a break outside, hang around in a coffee shop or a place nearby then step in when you have 20 mins to go.
The idea is for you not to show you’re desperate, but to be efficient with time management.
Make Eye contact and Smile
When you meet your Interviewer for the first time make eye contact, look him/her/them in the eye have a smile on our face. If there are multiple interviewers then make eye contact with each of them, 2 seconds max.
Introduce yourself, Pay attention to the Interviewer’s name, you might not hear it again, repeat the Interviewer’s name, when you introduce yourself.
Example: Interviewer: Hi, I’m Jack, Interviewee: Hi Jack, nice to meet you, my name is John, Interviewer: How are you today?, I’m doing good Jack, thanks for asking, how are you?
The Eye Contact, Smile, Talk and Handshake happen more or less simultaneously, give equal importance to each of them and make a handshake matter.
For a good handshake make eye contact, good grip, elbow erring toward a right angle. Do not pump the hand, unless the other person is insistent on just that.
Check out this video to get a better idea.
Walk with confidence, when meeting the Interviewer or even while entering the office, you’re been watched, there will be people who could be from the same team or influential in the hiring decision that could be observing you. Don’t look down, look straight and raise you’re chin.
Don’t hunch your shoulders walk straight. As you walk don’t look all around the office unless the Interviewer is showing you around.
Concentrate on what the interviewer is saying, listen and make a conversation, praise the office facilities, talk about the weather, engage in small talk. Don’t ask personal questions at all.
You can find some tips on walking styles here.
The Sitting posture
Sit up straight , avoid leaning on the side rails of your chair. While sitting do not fidget, stay calm and composed.
Do not wiggle your chair. Keep your legs still. Look up straight maintain necessary eye contact, don’t stare at the interviewer.
If there are multiple Interviewers again maintain eye contact with each of them, while talking you might have to give more importance to the person asking the questions in terms of maintaining eye contact but don’t ignore the other interviewer.
Check this video for tips on Seating.
The Interviewers Name
Each person is closely associated with his or her name, addressing them by the name correctly will bring them subconsciously closure to you and might make them more comfortable with you. If you’re not sure of how to pronounce it correctly there’s no harm asking them how to pronounce their name politely.