It would be probably correct to say when preparing for any interview, you are more apprehensive about the questions you’d be asked than making a good first impression.
Many candidates approach interviews the same way too. They are all focused on making sure they aced the tough questions likely to be thrown at them.
However, you should have known by now that it is important to make a good first impression. Your success at the interview could depend on that. This rightly begs the question of how to make a good impression.
When preparing for that important interview, it wise to work on the things you can control. For instance, there is no way you can predict the sort of questions you’d be asked. You can’t control what happens there.
But making a good first impression is something you can control completely. This is fortunate because you would be judged on how the panel perceives you. And it is crucial the first thought they have of you is positive.
So, here are some ways of making a good first impression at your job interview.
1. Be punctual
This should go without saying. It smacks of unseriousness if you keep the interviewers waiting. Straight up, you are boldly saying you don’t know how to set your priorities right.
You would need to have a very compelling reason for coming late to mitigate that disaster. Even at that, you have a steep mountain to climb to erase the bad impression you created by coming late.
If you can’t help coming late, you have to call the interviewers to let them know and of course why. Should you be told that you should offer your apologies even if it is not your fault?
2. Wear the right clothes
Some firms are nice enough to tell you the sort of clothes they expect you to appear in. Most of the time though, it is assumed you know.
Unfortunately, some people tend to over-dress or make it too casual.
If you are not sure how they expect you to appear, you can visit the office a day or two before the interview and see how folks dress there. Then you would have a fair idea what clothes to appear in.
Generally, though, your clothes must be neat, well pressed with shoes shining from the thorough polish you gave it. You want to look professional and be taken seriously? Then you must dress the part.
3. Go with only the things you need
Carrying too many things to the interview would give the impression you are unorganized and too comfortable with clutter.
Interviewers hate it when they see candidates bringing so many things to the interview. From experience, they know you would waste their time riffling through so many papers to get a document they need to see.
A simple file or folder with only the most essential documents is all you need to make a good first impression.
4. Be nice to everybody you meet there
The story of the job seeker who was very rude to a nondescript person in the waiting room before he went in for the interview is legendary.
It turned out the ordinary looking person was the boss. Of course, he didn’t get the job.
This is not likely to happen to you though. However, you should be nice to the workers you meet. You never know who might be in a position to put in a good word for you later.
5. Turn off your phone
These days, our default mode is to turn to our smartphones when we have to wait for something. It is okay if you’re at ATM waiting for your turn or somewhere unimportant.
However, while waiting for your turn to be interviewed, don’t pass the time on your smartphone. Instead, spend the time to think and organize your thoughts concerning the interview. You can even go through your resume again. Although by this time, it’s a sure bet you know everything written there.
The point is, you don’t want a scenario where you are caught fiddling with your phone when the interviewer comes out to call you in for the interview. That doesn’t leave a good first impression one bit.
‘Are you a serious person?‘ Is the question that would immediately form in the mind of the interviewer.
6. Don’t look trapped
Not looking trapped is all about being relaxed and confident when you get into the room for the interview.
It would be great if you can make small talk about anything that might be interesting to them. If the office is beautiful, smile and throw in a compliment. Or you can ask about the nice family picture on the desk.
The art of small talk is all about using mundane things to get everybody relaxed. You would score big marks for not being intimidated by the atmosphere.
Hopefully, the interviewers are not in a cranky mood. If they are, you are better off just greeting them allowing them to set the ball rolling.
With these tips, your chances of getting the job just got better even if not guaranteed.
So what are your experiences at job interviews? Did you find it hard to make a good first impression?