First impressions count – or so the old saying goes. Whether it’s for a new job, meeting someone for the first time, or even on a first date, certain things allow you to leave a lasting impression.
Making a strong impression at a job interview will help to separate you from the other candidates. To ensure the first impression you make is a good one, there are a few things you can do that’ll help you stand out and put you one step closer to securing that job!
‘Fashionably late’ is not something you want to be when it comes to a job interview. Punctuality is everything – especially when meeting someone for the first time. It doesn’t matter whether your reason for being late is legitimate or not, arriving on time shows you respect the other person’s time.
When showing up for an interview, allow adequate time to find a car park, go to the bathroom and do anything else you may need to, to prepare for your meeting.
Dress the part
While we’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, what you wear is important in making a good first impression. Research the place you’re interviewing at to see what type of attire is worn by others and may be acceptable for an interview. If it’s a corporate or office environment, corporate attire should be worn. However, for more casual companies, or when specified, you can dress slightly less formal.
Certain colours can subconsciously play a part in an interview or workplace. If you’re looking to make a statement, here’re the colours you should be wearing.
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not
Be yourself! You want to be hired as someone you are, not someone you’re pretending to be. What happens if you get hired and have to keep up the pretence the whole time you’re working there? It doesn’t matter whether it’s something small like your favourite weekend activity or something larger like where you went to university, the truth always comes out, so it’s best to be honest from the start.
Besides, wouldn’t it feel better to be hired for being you?
A smile can go a long way and is one of the best forms of body language. A warm and confident smile can help put you and the other person at ease. Whether you feel confident or not, putting a smile on your face can help you to appear like you are (and maybe even trick your mind into feeling more confident too!)
Whilst smiling is a positive thing, try not to overdo it with the fake smile, as it can come across as deceptive and even arrogant.
Use open body language
Although smiling is the best body language you can show when having your interview, other actions may be giving off signals to your interviewer. Psychology tells us that we instinctively mirror each other’s body language. If the other person lacks eye contact and acts distracted, we’ll also start to scan the room.
Examples of good body language include:
- Making eye contact with whoever is speaking
- Sitting up straight in your chair
- Uncrossing your arms
- Avoid touching your face
- Try not to fidget
- Nod your head as you listen
- Use hand gestures to express yourself where necessary (but don’t overdo it!)
Listening might seem like a given, but how many times can you say you’ve fully taken in what someone has said? Being attentive to the person who’s talking shows you’re interested and willing to know more.
Where you can, add your opinion to the conversation or ask questions related to the topic to demonstrate you understand what’s being said.
Build a rapport
Building a rapport with the person you’re being interviewed by can go a long way in leaving a lasting impression. Talking about things you have in common with that person especially can bolster how you come across. Have a look around the room where you’re being interviewed – is there a photo of children on their desk? Perhaps you have children yourself and can find common ground on this topic.
If you’re in an interview room or something similar, finding something to comment on (such as complimenting the comfiness of a chair, or the colour of the walls) can also be a way to build rapport. While you shouldn’t let the whole interview be taken over by small talk, a little can go a long way.
Use your manners
Never underestimate the power of manners! Good manners demonstrate politeness and respect for the other person. Bad manners, on the other hand, come across as rude and disrespectful – whether it’s directed at the interviewer or not.
Some examples of good manners can include:
- Saying please and thank you where necessary
- Excusing yourself if you need to leave the room
- Using ‘pardon’ or ‘sorry’ instead of ‘what’ if you mishear a question
- Covering your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze
Come bearing questions
There’s nothing that will impress a potential employer more than doing your research. At the end of the interview when you’re asked, “have you got any questions for us?” this is your chance to impress them with the research you’ve done on the business and role itself.
Asking questions shows you’re interested in the role and company, while also proving that you’re keen to join their team. If you don’t have anything in mind that you’d like to ask, here’s 51 questions you can ask at an interview.
Whether it’s interviewing for a job or being put in another situation that requires you to make a good impression, it’s important to do the right things. Smiling, body language and using great manners are all things that help to boost your general appearance. The way you dress is also important, as it says a lot about who you are as a person and as a professional.
If you’re looking to make a lasting first impression at your next job interview (or your job in general!) Biz Corporates has you covered with a range of quality, trans-seasonal wardrobe pieces that are great for every working environment.