The big day has arrived!
First impressions … lasting judgements are made on first impressions and within a very short period of time. Research indicates that around 92% of a judgment about a person is made within the first minute and a half of meeting them for the first time. It’s also been estimated that it takes on average 21 subsequent meetings to overcome a poor first impression! So it’s vital you get it right the first time.
There are a few simple steps you can take to create a good first impression:
- Arrive in plenty of time and allow for contingencies. Plan your journey and ensure you have plenty of time. If you are unavoidably delayed, make sure you notify both the company and your agency.
- Take special care to dress appropriately, smart business wear is most fitting. Wear what you are comfortable in.
- Avoid having coffee just before your interview, even if you are offered one when you arrive. Caffeine can increase feelings of nervousness.
During the interview
So – you’ve made a good first impression.
Here are a few things you can do to continue to build on your good start.
- Walk in confidently – it's important you look as professional as possible from the outset
- Deliver a firm handshake – too weak and you'll seem submissive, too strong and you could be seen to be trying too hard
- Be aware of your body language. You want to convey that you're enthusiastic, positive and energetic. Sit up straight – avoid being too stiff. It's OK to lean forward slightly every so often, as it shows the interviewer you're listening.
- Keep eye contact – maintaining eye contact shows you're not intimidated and that you're taking everything in
- Smile – don't underestimate a smile, it will give you confidence and expresses enthusiasm
- Prepare a few lines about your current situation – candidates who are succinct in the explanation of their work experience and provide concrete reasons for seeking a new challenge create confidence in the interviewer. Applying this principle to your previous roles will ensure your poise when faced with questions regarding your experience.
- Consider what the interviewer wants to know – think of yourself as a product with features and benefits you want to sell. What are your features?
- Some companies utilise competency based interviews. These focus on specific skills required to fulfil the role, for example team work or customer service skills. To be successful you need to cite a specific example of a work based scenario.
There will be appropriate times in the interview to ask questions about the company and department, desired qualities and challenges and shows your interest and background work. This enables you to gain more information about the company, its culture and development ensuring it is the right role for you. It is not advisable to ask questions regarding salary/benefits at first interview stage. Instead, stick to questions regarding the company, your role and how you would fit into the environment.
Here are some questions you may like to consider:
- What is the evaluation process for this position eg. Monthly review?
- Are there performance targets to achieve?
- What would be the first challenges?
- Does my role encompass long term objectives?
- How does this role contribute to the efficiency and success of the company?
Interviews can take many forms, stages and evaluations. Your consultant will advise and support you through each stage. Use this opportunity to ask questions such as their observations of the company.
Remember – we meet all of our clients!
At the end of the interview
As your interview draws to a conclusion, always remember to thank the interviewer
Tell us here at talent express how the interview went – your feedback is important. Equally, we will always endeavor to gain feedback from our clients for you.