How to Make the Best First Impression at an Interview

Woman At A Job Interview Pixibay Image Showing Woman Being Interviewed
Preparation counts if you intend to make the best impression at an interview on a potential employer.

 

In the competitive world that we live in, the first impression that someone has of you could either help or hinder your career.  Therefore, your best chance of success or failure rests on those crucial few seconds upon meeting the interviewer to determine your future.

 

Allow Extra Time to Evaluate Your Appearance to Make the Best First Impression

 

You need to arrive at least fifteen minutes before your interview to take care of your appearance and fill out any application and related forms.  You don’t want to jeopardize your chances by walking into the interview without thoroughly inspecting that professional image you radiate for public view.

Besides combing or brushing your hair that might have been wind-blown, it is important to inspect your outfit.  Look for any buttons that may have opened, any zipper that may have come undone, any straps from your bra, camisole or slip that might be falling and properly adjust them.  Pull down any riding sweater, dress or skirt.  You don’t want to accidentally reach for a strap while you’re talking or get up from your chair with an unzipped pair of pants only to expose yourself, which would cause untold embarrassment.

Carrying a few safety pins and a small bottle of hand lotion can save you from disaster if those straps keep falling, the zipper breaks or any static cling that your dress or skirt may encounter.  Rub some hand lotion between the palms of your hands and then pat your hose, camisole or slip helps.  After all, accidents happen when you least expect them.  It is to your advantage to be prepared just in case.

Make sure blouses, tops and shirts are all tucked in and as wrinkle free as possible.

A dark suit, dress, or top can be revealing if you have any dandruff or lint sticking to your outfit.  Brush anything off that you don’t want that interviewer to notice. When the interviewer’s eyes keep wandering to the dandruff on your shoulder or the lint or fuzz on your outfit, this is hardly the kind of attention that you want if you hope to win a second interview.

Don’t go too heavy with makeup or fragrance.  In fact, you may want to skip perfume for your interview and aim for more natural, but polished look.  Smile and look for any lipstick on your teeth.

If you wear eyeglasses, check the lens for smudges.  Smudges can make you look sloppy and careless.

Those that habitually wear earrings might want to check that both were put on.  In a nervous rush, women have been known to forget.  If so, you want to take that lone earring off before you head into that important interview.

 

While Waiting in the Outer Office Reception Area Mentally Prepare 

 

No matter how nervous you may feel inside, try to mentally prepare by picturing yourself already working in the position as you wait to be called for the interview.  Imagine your desk or office and what it will look like in your mind’s eye.  Now see yourself behind the desk, perhaps, typing on the computer or answering the phone or some other task that you would be doing.  The mind works in pictures.  The more that you see the image of you performing that job that you are seeking, the more reality that you give the energy.  The result can translate into more confidence.

 

Smile and Make Eye Contact When the Interviewer Calls Your Name 

 

A warm smile and maintaining eye contact will show interest and how in touch you are to others.  It is welcoming and a way to connect with people with how open and approachable you are as a person or candidate to work with.

 

Body Language Says a Lot About You as a Potential Employee 

 

Hold your head high and maintain straight posture when you head toward the interview.  Shake his or her hand with a firm grip while maintaining eye contact.  Walk confidently as if you already have the position.  When you sit, be attentive and stay poised. Being too relaxed once you take a seat or fidgeting in your chair can give the wrong impression.

 

Be Confident and Upbeat About What You Can Bring to the Position

 

Even if you feel other candidates might have more experience or education than you do, don’t go into the interview taking that thought with you.  Otherwise, you might as well turn around and go home.

If you don’t believe in yourself, then you have no right to be in the interviewer’s office.  Remember, you were called to interview because you had the education or skills that attracted the employer in the first place.  Your job now is to reinforce those qualities that caught the company’s initial attention and expand upon them and your achievements with energy and excitement of what out of the box thinking that you can bring to the position.

 

Prepare Ahead and Research the Company to Make the Best First Impression

 

You can always stand apart from the crowd and your competition by walking into the interview as informed about the company as you can.  Find out some relevant facts and weave them through your answers will impress once the interview begins. Employers love knowing that you took the imitative because it shows what drive and dedication you will bring to the position.

 

Show Enthusiasm and Be Attentive Through the Interview Process

 

Listen and do not interrupt the interviewer. When it is your turn to speak, ask your questions.  Don’t be shy about sharing ideas to demonstrate your grasp on the position.

 

Emphasize Your Strengths 

 

An interview is your time to shine as a potential employee.  Therefore, it is crucial to sell yourself to the interviewer by pointing out your strengths.  Perhaps, you are a “people” person that has a winning personality and are a good conversationalist that can get others to open up to you easily.  Then again, planning and organizing details for the large picture is something that you might excel in or always be the one that others come to for creative ideas that help to get projects started after the initial concept.  Whatever those strengths may be, share them with the interviewer while you have the opportunity.

 

Follow Up After the Interview Can Give You an Edge

 

Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Sending a thank you note to the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you can be helpful.  A little thoughtful note can single you out from the herd of others competing for that same position.  It also shows the interviewer exactly how interested you are to work for their company by making sure your name is remembered.

 

Perseverance Pays Off

 

Despite how well the interview went, you may not get the position.  Of course, you will take it as a personal rejection and blame yourself for something or another.  Whatever the reason was, not getting the job was not your fault.  After all, for every corporate job, it is estimated that 250 others hoped to snag that job also.  You, my friend, at least made it to the top 20 or so.  Take pride in that and consider that interview was your practice run.  The next job will be yours!

 

 

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