You may think that preparing for a job interview means going over your answers to potential questions, and brushing up on the company background. Of course these are both important things to consider but making a good first impression depends on so much more.
Everything you do from the moment you respond to the interview invitation you will be taken on board â€“ consciously or not â€“ by everyone you come into contact with. This means the receptionist, the PA, the people in the interview room and whomever you happen to bump into in the bathroom. Itâ€™s always good to make sure your online profile is clean and up to date as it is likely that your interviewer will search for your profile and you donâ€™t want anything on Facebook to ruin your chances before the interview even begins!
The first thing you need to think about is your appearance. Getting the look right is essential for communicating the right message. Smart is almost a given for any job interview, regardless of the office dress code, but discuss with your recruiter what dress code they feel would be appropriate. Being well presented is a mark of respect and will also make you carry yourself in a more professional manner.
Punctuality is absolutely necessary and arriving a little early will also give you the chance to calm your nerves and get your bearings. Be nice to the receptionist and try not to sit glued to your phone while you wait to be called in.
Which brings us to being organised in general. If you have a portfolio, or CV or any other documentation with you, make sure it is instantly accessible and well presented. Fumbling about in a bag for a stray piece of paper wonâ€™t look too good.
Making eye contact and smiling at people is an invaluable way to put them at ease and gain their trust. It will only work if it is genuine so try to overcome your nerves and let your inner light shine a little. Donâ€™t be afraid to make the first move in extending a hand and introducing yourself.
If the opportunity arises, try to find a connection with the interviewer is a fantastic way to make a good impression. Initiate some light-hearted conversation and ask them things like how long they have been with the company.
A good interview should consist of dialog, not just one-way questioning. So donâ€™t be afraid to show your enthusiasm and curiosity by asking your own questions about the company and the position. It will help you to make your mark. Just be careful not to come across as ignorant by asking things that you should already know, such as the job specification.
The number one rule in all instances is to be professional and genuine. Even if you donâ€™t get the job, it is always worth being remembered for the right reasons and may pay off in the future.