Especially when it comes to job interviews, first impressions do matter! If you are able to build a rapport with the interview board while introducing yourself, you stand a much higher chance of continuing the interview on the same positive note and getting a call back. Read on to find out how you can easily create a great first impression that is sure to land you that coveted job.
If there is no mention of a dress code in your interview email, do find out what is considered appropriate attire at the office you are interviewing for. If casual clothes are acceptable, do not wear anything that is tight fitting, flashy or too colourful. A formal dress code would usually mean a business suit. Avoid wearing strong perfume or aftershave lotion and wear only minimal jewellery. Wear formal shoes and preferably, avoid very high heels.
Make sure that you have reliable transportation and give some allowance for traffic on the way. If your interview is at a specified time, make sure you are at the venue at least ten minutes early. Avoid showing up too early and definitely, do not turn up late! There is no excuse for tardiness.
Wait with Patience
Quite often, there may be a camera in the waiting lounge and you could be watched while you are in the waiting room! Greet the receptionist and give them your name including details of your interview. Be patient and do not fidget or walk around. Be polite to others who are also waiting.
Enter the Room with Confidence
When your name is called, keep your head up and walk into the room after knocking politely. Smile and make eye contact with your interviewers, reach out and greet them with a Good morning (Good afternoon or Good evening, as the case may be!). Offer a firm handshake. You may be nervous but make sure that they don’t know it!
Tip: If your palms are sweaty or cold, make sure you wipe them before you proffer that handshake!
Sit up Straight
Do not take a seat until you are invited to. If you are carrying your portfolio in a folder, place it on the table in front of you but do not offer to share it unless you are asked for it. Any laptops or bags, if required to be brought into the interview, can be placed on the ground beside your chair.
Introduce Yourself the Right Way
Quite often, the first question you will be asked could be along the lines of, “Tell us about yourself”. Your answer should focus on the points in your background that will make you an excellent choice for the position you are being interviewed for.
Start with your name, where you are from and what you have been doing till now. Point out your experience, skills, interests and personal qualities that would make you a good fit for the position. Try to build a rapport with your interviewer. Smile and be very pleasant!
Tip: Do not make your answer too verbose and do not exaggerate your qualities in a way that makes it seem as though you are bragging!
Read up about your Interviewers
If you know who your interviewer is going to be, look them up on Linkedin before the interview. You may get some insights into what direction the interview is likely to take. In case you don’t know who is going to be interviewing you, listen carefully when they introduce themselves and be sure to get their names right when you respond!
Remember that your employer will have your background investigated. Nothing looks worse than a resume that has been embellished or skills that are exaggerated! If you have only beginner’s knowledge of a specific skill, do not claim to be an expert. Do not claim hobbies or interests that you do not actually follow.
Let them Know How You Can Make a Difference
Read about what the company is doing and prepare well to answer the question, “Why are you here?” Your reply should clearly indicate why you are excited about joining this company. Tell them how you could make an invaluable contribution to your role and how you would be the right choice for this company. Talk about your expertise, experience and skills that can make a difference.
Tip: Never, ever show off!
You too Can Ask Questions!
Usually at the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Be prepared with some questions that are well thought out and not flippant. You could ask some questions pertaining to your role and responsibilities and use this opportunity to find out more about the company and what they do.
Keep a Pleasant Pace of Conversation
Do not speak too fast or too slow and do not punctuate your responses with words such as, ‘like’! For example, this is NOT the way to speak: I was working in, like, the emergency care department, for, like, three months. Use a more formal and polished manner of speaking. The interviewers are not your friends!
We are sure that all these tips would help you make a great first impression and ace your interview. We wish you the very best!