Dressed appropriately? Check. Directions are intact and planning to arrive early to the interview? Check. Printed two additional copies of resume and ready to interview? Check, check!
These are usually the main factors we generally focus on when bracing ourselves for that one interview opportunity that could catapult our careers on the road to success. From what to wear to how to effectively verbalize and convey our skills in order to sell them to the hiring manager are pending topics we have running through our noggins the morning of the big day. Yet, when pondering the more obvious details in preparation to interviewing, we often forget what it really means to make a good impression. So, this nifty list of ‘forget-me-nots’ has been tacked on to this communication, aiming to aide you in getting ready to make the best first impression possible and book you the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Okay so, it’s understood that you are not exactly intensely training to win the gold in the Olympics, after all, you are merely bracing yourself for an interview, correct? Even so, trust that a little rehearsing can work in favor of you. When has practicing for success at something ever hindered your chances of gaining that success? Rehearsing what to say and how to say it will conjure up ideas in your head prematurely on how to handle pertinent interview questions. Mock interviewing with a family member or friend may also help. Those individuals could give you helpful feedback on how you come across. Doing this well before the interview can allow you to modify some aspects that need to be tweaked before you interview.
Punctuality is definitely a must. Be on time! This generally means arriving a bit early to your destination. This will not only give you time to adjust yourself and calm those jittery nerves before your interview but it will send a message to your employer that you are punctual, prepared, and ready for action! Thus, adding points to their positive impression of you.
Attitude and Body Language
This is a big one. A good attitude and demeanor go a long way. From the minute you enter the building of your interview site, assume that you are being watched at all times. You never know who is observing you and rating your level of professionalism by how you carry yourself. Even when you’re sitting in the lobby waiting to interview, the receptionist can be the initial eyes and ears of the hiring manager. That means, replying to those Blackberry messages needs to be put on hold, taking personal calls while waiting can definitely be postponed, and seeming impatient and antsy may also count against you. However, smiling while making great eye contact, showing self control, patience and attentiveness will most likely grant you a more positive response and experience throughout your interview process.
Although your hiring manager most likely has a copy of your resume, you should always bring two additional copies to every interview you go on. Some managers may be too busy to print it out or review it right before the interview so it is always wise to be prepared and they will appreciate you having them. You also always want to have a pen and some additional paper just in case you need to jot notes for any reason.
Departure and Thank You
Now this is the home stretch. Always know that the finale to any interview is just as equally important to all of the other sections it contains. A good, professional departure could leave a positive stamp on your hiring manager’s mind so remember to provide a firm handshake, eye contact, and a verbal thank you for the opportunity once you’re finished. After your interview is completely over, sending a letter or email a few days later reiterating your thankfulness and ability to do the job well is recommended. You may also want to include that you are still very much interested in the job and that you look forward to possibly working with the company.
That’s it! These are the essentials needed to make a positive impression when interviewing for a job. There are certainly more aspects involved when trying to land that dream job but every good plan has a skeleton or foundation for you to work from. The more hearty material lies in your ability to interview well, and sell your skills. So remember, the rest is up to you. Make that positive impression and go get ‘em!
Wakema Ligons, Staffing Associate