First impressions matter, especially during your first interview. You have to be willing to put your best foot forward and show that you’re serious, professional, dedicated, and truly interested in the job. But how?
Here are 5 areas trained interviewers and recruiters assess during your first interview and how you can make a great first impression with them in mind.
Be On Time
Being on time for an interview is critical. It’s the first opportunity to assess whether or not you will show up on time for work if hired. Being on time for an interview means showing up before you’re interview. Arriving 15-20 minutes early allows you to complete any paperwork and demonstrate that you are interested and enthusiastic about the position.
Your recruiter won’t expect you to arrive in a designer suit, but you should be dressed neatly and professionally when you come to the interview. Clean, neat, and tidy should be the guideposts for your interview attire.
The recruiter’s job is to ask you questions and give you the opportunity to answer them and sell yourself as a prospective job candidate. Your job as a candidate is to be attentive and respectful of their time and efforts. Ensure your phone is muted and tucked away, and pay attention to the interviewer. Showing courtesy as you listen and answer questions, and keeping your own in mind, can make a big impression.
Speaking of courtesy, interviewers want to get to know candidates who are polite and courteous to all. Remember that the receptionist, other candidates, and company workers who interact with you are making impressions, too. Interviewers often ask the receptionist if the candidate was polite, so keep that in mind.
The pre-interviewer period and during the interview are ideal times to demonstrate some of your valuable soft skills. Take the time to say “thank you” and follow up interviews with a brief text or email thanking the recruiter for their time.
Expressing genuine interest in the position you’re interviewing for doesn’t start during the interview. As soon as your interview is scheduled, research the company so you can ask quality questions. Engage with the recruiter; don’t be afraid to interrupt politely and ask for more details.
First impressions are so important in an interview that they can affect the tone and even the ultimate outcome. By making an effort to make a great first impression, you may even find the recruiter selling the job to you!