How to Make a Good Impression at Your First Job Interview
Whether you’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the ‘real world’ after university or you’ve finally been shortlisted for the job of your dreams, job interviews can be incredibly scary, daunting and off-putting.
However, they needn’t be.
With a few simple (and clever) tips, it’s never been easier to nail your next interview.
Don’t Be Late
This should go without saying but you’d be surprised at how many people are late for interviews. From not allowing enough time for the journey to having an I-spilt-coffee-on-my-shirt disaster, there are a lot of factors that can make you late.
So don’t just allow enough time to get to the interview, allow plenty of time.
And if you do find that you’re running late, be sure to call ahead to let them know. An honest phone call will be far more appreciated (and accepted) than a lame excuse when you turn up 30 minutes late.
Wear the Right Get-Up
First impressions are largely based on how professional you look.
Turn up in that freshly dry-cleaned suit that’s topped off with newly polished shoes and that cool, sophisticated watch from Henry London and you’ll be off to a good start straight away.
Rock up with your shirt hanging out of your trousers, a pair of trainers on and hair sticking out of your head at every angle, and you’re immediately going to have set off on the wrong foot.
Try not to juggle too many things, too. Dropping umbrellas, wallets, portfolios and laptops as you walk to the interview room isn’t going to exude professionalism. So try to keep everything contained within one bag that’s easy to carry.
Do Your Research
So what do you think about our company?
(Wracks brain to remember which company this actually is).
So many questions can throw you off, make you feel uncomfortable and make it look like you’re not that bothered about the job after all.
Always make sure you’re completely up to date with which company you’re interviewing with, what they do, how they stand out from the crowd and what your role will involve. Look through LinkedIn, company profiles, business articles and so on to find out all the inside info on the company before practically memorising the job spec.
That way, you’ll sound keen, confident and competent. (And no, it’s not stalkerish to Google the interviewer).
Be Cool, Calm and Collected
OK, so this is often easier said than done, but your body language will also play a massive role in how your interviewer(s) perceive you.
Try to make sure your hands aren’t sweaty and don’t be afraid to go in for the handshake first. This small gesture shows confidence and that you’re pleased to be there. And don’t forget to smile throughout your interview – not constantly, of course, but when it’s appropriate, i.e. when you meet the interviewer.
Finally, take some deep breaths and don’t panic. You’ve been chosen for this interview for a reason, so show them exactly why you’re the best fit for the job.