People always say to not judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s face it, we all make snap decisions every single day. Your interview will be the same way. The moment you walk in the door your goal needs to be to make the best first impression possible.
Keep in mind of course, before you can get an interview in the first place, you’ll need to impress employers with a stellar resume. If you find yourself needing help, online resume and CV services is something to weigh the pros and cons of. Once you’ve impressed employers with your resume, here’s how you nail your interview:
1. Augment Your Appearance
Before you even open your mouth, the first thing a hiring manager will see is you. The means the first step to success is your appearance. Take the time to shower, shave, do your hair and wear something professional. This does not mean going out and spending $500 on a new outfit. It means putting on something formal, clean and pressed. For men this could be a suit or a button down, slacks and a tie. Women can sport a dress or go with a blouse and pant/skirt combination. Avoid jeans and any casual tops and ALWAYS tuck in your shirt! You want to send the message that you are serious about this opportunity.
2. Come in the Door Confident
After you walk in the door, you want to establish that you are a confident and professional candidate. This starts with a strong handshake, solid eye contact, a smile and a clear introduction. “Hello. My name is John Doe. It is so nice to meet you.” Try to avoid distractions and keep your eye on the prize.
Another important thing to note – EVERYONE is potentially judging to see if you are a right fit for this job and you have no idea who is on the hiring committee or who has the boss’s ear. That means the receptionist is just as important as the hiring manager. Treat them as such.
If your interview is remote, be early because you have no excuse to be late. While you can’t engage with a handshake, you can still utilize all these other tips, but you will also want to ensure that you don’t have any distractions where you are conducting your interview like kids or background noise. Furthermore, make sure that your backdrop is professional.
3. Exhibit Your Excitement Over This Position
Whether this is your first choice or your tenth, YOU are the one who reached out to the company. YOU want this job, so act like it! Show enthusiasm and excitement for being there! Show gratitude for the opportunity to interview! As a hiring manager I can tell you the quickest way to lose the job is to either assume you already have the position or to act like you are above doing what the job entails. We have no obligation to hire you so always put your best foot forward!
LAND Your Job!
Once you have made it in the door and made a solid first impression, you now need to seal the deal during the interview. Here are some tips to make that happen!
4. Let Your Body Language Work in Your Favor
Nonverbal communication is just as important as what comes out of your mouth during the interview. If you are staring at the table and hunched over you will seem unengaged and therefore, uninterested in the job. If you plop down and throw your feet up on the table, you are coming off as an arrogant hotshot who will be difficult in the workplace. Instead try leaning in, plant your feet on the floor, use your hands while talking and nod while listening.
5. Ask Questions
The interview is a time for the company to see if you are a right fit for the job, but it is also a time for you to find out if it is really the right fit for you. Most hiring managers actually expect a viable candidate to ask questions because it signals to us that you are serious about this job and have invested your time in researching the company and the position. Come up with questions prior to your appointment and write them down. Then actively listen during the interview and come up with more along the way. This will show that you are engaged and interested.
6. Necessitate Yourself
Why do you want to work for this company? Why are you the best candidate for the job? What experience and expertise will you bring to the position? Why are you a better choice than other people interviewing for the job? These are all questions that you need to have the answer to PRIOR to walking in the door. Do your research ahead of time by looking into what this company is all about, what their core values are and most of all, read the job description so you can effectively showcase why you are the best person for this position.
7. Drive It Home
End the interview on a positive note, with a smile and another handshake. Make sure to thank them for their time and express your eagerness to hear from them soon. Then go home and send an email within 24 hours of the interview. You want to stay on their radar. Did they ask for extra information in the form of writing samples or a more extensive portfolio of your work? Include anything requested and thank them again for their time and consideration and why you would be so excited to join their company.