It’s often in nerve-racking situations, such as an interview, we are unsure how to come across best. It’s important to nail your first impression, after all, you only get the one! I have jotted down my ‘5 top tips’ on how I believe you can make a great first impression:
- Always wear a smile…
A smile is the best thing you can wear and should be taken everywhere you go! It’s infectious, it creates a friendly connection between you and your interviewer and is a great way to start a conversation. If you get them smiling, you’re halfway to success!
When we smile, we look and sound a lot happier. Have you ever noticed that when you smile a lot, the other person returns that smile? Now you’re both happy!
- Dress to impress…
This is such an important element for meeting anyone, it’s one of the first things we judge people on. Usually, we are attracted to individuals that are presented in a similar manner to ourselves. So, if you’re entering a professional setting you want to dress to impress.
It’s not just what you wear, it’s how you wear it… Employers don’t want to see a ‘schoolboy’ approach, so yes boys… that does mean keep those shirts ironed, tucked in and if you’re wearing a tie keep your top button fastened! (At least until you leave!)
Ladies, it’s all about class! Save your party dresses for a night out, we want to see you but not too much of you. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference, spending 5-10 minutes ensuring hair and makeup are tailored to suit the environment.
Dependent on the nature of the business, you want to ensure you have made the best impression you can and that you are matched well to the environment. Think about your resources, LinkedIn gives a great insight into the company and their employees!
- Confidence is key…
Okay, so we are not all brimming with confidence but we can all do small things to hide our nerves! When meeting your interviewer don’t be scared to put your hand out and shake their hand… they won’t say no! You want to do something to stand out, I don’t mean anything too big, just a joke or a comment on the weather to break the ice… you may be the only one to do it.
Don’t hold back, if your interviewer mentions something you can relate to… talk about it, build that rapport!
- Do your homework…
How much do you really know? Are you ready for the worst case scenario? Companies love to hear you talk about them, fact! Take your time and analyse all you can… Don’t just go to your typical company website, look further down the google search and keep an eye out for recent press releases, future plans, recent changes, achievements and anything else. The more you know, the more of an interest you’re showing. It could even be something as subtle as, ‘I love the refurbishment you did’ or ‘how are your growth plans going?’.
Google is not your only resource here, think outside the box. Check the company’s social media outlets, they will give you the best insight into the company and their employees. Going further outside the box, think newspapers and customer reviews!
On the day before your interview, take a drive out and locate the offices. This will prevent the embarrassment of ringing up and asking for directions, even if they warned you it was hard to find, this shows bad preparation.
Another thing to be mindful of, what if there’s traffic? Use your resources! Google Maps can tell you traffic information. If your interview is at 2pm, you want to arrive ten minutes early… So, choose a set off time and check the route. Your iPhone can also give you live traffic updates. Manage your time well!
Finally, this is a 2-way interview. Utilise your time and find out as much as you want to know – have you ever gone to an interview and found the wasn’t quite as described? This is your time to challenge the company and establish if this is for you, which will impress your prospective employer and show a strong interest. Of course it has benefits for you, it helps you decide if this is the real deal or if you’re being sold a dream (or of course, a nightmare!) Equally, don’t ask the questions if you’re not going to listen to the answers, show that you’re willing and take a notepad, draw pictures if you like, just show that interest! Make sure all of your questions are written down along with some of your key achievements within past roles, don’t rely on your memory.
Always remember… Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Come on, don’t fail, you got this!
- Is your body saying too much…?
We all have those bad habits, worst of all, do we even know we are doing them?! Our body language can tell a person so much, sometimes exactly what you don’t want to say… Again, you want to show interest and that you are friendly and approachable. (Even if you’re not, your body can lie for you!)
No one wants to see your arms crossed or an expressionless face… boring! Keep your arms open, back straight and head straight. But remember, you’re not a robot or a plank of wood.
From the minute you press the buzzer at the intercom, all eyes are on you. The receptionist may let you in and seat you but remember, they are a respected person within the company and their opinion will be asked of. It’s always a good idea to avoid using your mobile while waiting for your interview, grab a leaflet and read up on the company… this looks a lot better. Again, you thought outside of the box.
You will probably get offered a drink when meeting with employers, keep it simple and get yourself a water. It keeps you cool and prevents a dry throat, avoid the heat in nerve-racking situations, plus it’s cool enough to sip and it can help break eye contact at any time!
Here at Ginger Recruitment, we see the importance in assisting candidates throughout their interview process, giving everybody the best opportunity for success.
Good luck, go get em’ tiger!