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Home Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great First Impression

Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great First Impression

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Winning a job comprises of various steps and pile of work to be done by the job applicants. Starting from job search, meeting application requirements, expecting response from the employer, appearing in any tests and then interviews. Every applicant feels excited and hopeful as their initial applications for the job are shortlisted and they are invited by the employer for interview. However, this is the most crucial stage for the applicants as they have to prove themselves to be right fit for the applied job. The work is pretty straightforward and simple as the applicants need to satisfy the requirements of the employer. There are several tips about how to make great impression in a job interview over the internet. However, finding the most relevant and important tips on internet needs a lot of research. Here, we have shortlisted some of the most relevant, accurate and necessary interview tips to make strong impression in a job interview.

Before Interview Day Preparations

Once an applicant receives an invitation for interview through call or invitation, it is important to respond to the invitation timely and accordingly. Read the information sent by email carefully or in case of phone call listen to the instructions for interview carefully. Try to understand all the important points carefully such as date, time, venue of interview and any other requirements such as resume and other credentials. Note down all the details on a paper. It will help to make proper plan for interview preparation.

Review submitted Resume and cover letter

One of the mistake that usually youngsters make is they become overconfident that they have complete idea of everything related to interview. They do not prepare or review their process done so far. It is very important to check the resume again and again that was submitted to the employer, memorize, understand and different aspect of the profile such as qualifications, areas of interests and experiences mentioned in the resume. Similarly, the cover letter details that comprise of intentions, aims and promises made regarding the job application. All the details mentioned in application should be well understood and must reflect in the answers of asked questions during the interview.

There should not be any contradiction in application details during the interview. Such as any fake experience or qualifications or anything which was mentioned in the cover letter and it did not reflect during the interview. So it is important for the candidate to:

  • Make proper preparation
  • Focusing on key points of job description, its requirements
  • Highlighting the key skills and qualifications related to the job
  • Being honest and clear in communication

Understand Pros and Cons in profile

When reviewing resume, cover letter and self-assessment about interview, it is important to honestly realize strengths and weaknesses in resume, skills and personality. Such as if there is any gap in educational track or work experience, any hesitation or fear to face the new challenge. Nobody is perfect, everyone on work or job is equipped with skills as well as some deficiencies too. The main thing that matters is consistency and confidence that won them the job. Therefore, after assessing the pros and cons in candidate’s profile it is important for them to develop confidence and positive approach towards weaknesses. Addressing the shortcomings before interview is good, if one can. Otherwise, do not get disappointed or stressed, rather make up your mind to present yourself confidently with all strengths and weaknesses with appropriate reasoning. It will help to not get offended, surprised or blank if any question is asked related to shortcomings, while in interview.

Study the company and its industry

Once candidate has developed strong personal preparation, then it is equally important for them to study the industry and the business in detail, for which job interview is to be taken. Have some facts, stats and important information about basics of the business should be understood. Similarly, candidate should thoroughly study the organization or business profile such as their establishment, network, vision, mission, products or services, offerings and such other necessary details that can impact on job. Having resourceful and knowledgeable about job related industry and its organization will make strong impression in the mind if interviewer. It represents strong interest and eagerness towards job attainment.

Practice Basic questions

After assessing personal profile and industry profile, it is easy for the candidate to manipulate the knowledge to anticipate questions that may be asked. For instance, “Tell me about yourself” Practice some questions by sitting in front of mirror and answer them with most suitable thoughts. Practicing some expected interview questions in front of mirror is good idea to establish strong communication skills and confidence. It is like putting yourself in interviewer’s shoes and getting more readiness to face the interviewer/s.

Interview day preparation

Once the pre-interview preparations are done, it is important to keep the pace and moral high on the interview day. One should not get lazy on interview day. It is common mistake that many fresh graduates make, that they put lot of efforts to get prepared for the interview and on the interview day they lose their focus. Such as some candidates get late to the interview, some lack positive energy or feel pressure. It is natural to get bit nervous on interview day, but it is important to push yourself out of this thought process soonest possible and engage in some positive activity such as listening to some favorite music and inspirations. It really works and positive thoughts will start to overcome negative ones. Managing the critical day of interview successfully and overcoming the all negativity can win a life-changing career. Therefore, look and think bigger on interview day.

Attire for Job interview

Based on the job nature, organization and industry culture and requirement, candidate needs to dress accordingly. As famous quote, first impression is the last impression. Hence, candidate’s dress, body language and confidence obviously make first impression too. Dress simple but neat and graceful. Do not overdo in dressing, use deodorant and very light perfume. Shoes must be neat and polished. Overall, candidate should look neat, tidy and nice.

Be there little early

It is important to understand the time and venue for interview. If candidate is not aware of the place, it is good to know the route and time to reach to the venue. Make sure to reach the interview venue about 20- 30 minutes earlier. It helps to get adjusted in the environment, making up mind ready for the interview as well. Go to the refreshment area if there is any, have some drink or tea if needed. Talk to the people around politely with great smile on the face and have little chit chat about the day and environment etc. It will also help in building confidence and breaking the ice with people around. So all these early minutes at interview place work as confidence booster. But do not reach at interview place so early like 1-2 hours earlier (until it is specified by the employer), it will drain the energy and it will also not make good impression.

Stay Focused and Positive

As candidate reach the interview place, stay composed, calm and focused. Keep positive mindset intact. Do not be distracted by the environment, people or things around. Staying positive and focused is an art which needs to be learnt and practiced well before getting to any interview. It is not difficult to attain, anyone can develop these skills by practicing and concentrating. It comes with practice and experience. Once it is developed it is life time skill that helps at several stages.

A quick check before interview starts

Before the interview starts, it is important to check if everything is in control such as resume and other credentials required are carried along. Dress, shoes should remain neat and tidy, the body language should be fresh and attentive.

Know about the interviewer

As discussed to study the industry and company profile, it is wise to know the name and designation of the interviewer prior to the interview. If it is not disclosed by the company, this is absolutely fine and it will not make any difference, as employer is not interested in that.

Do not portray so serious

It is also important that candidate may not become serious, due to pressure and nervousness. Being very serious may portray as uninterested, unhappy or unwilling attitude towards job interview. Therefore, always keep smiling and attentive gestures during the whole time at interview place.

Do not be in rush while interviewed

As discussed earlier stay focused and positive, at the same time stay relaxed and calm. It is not recommended to answer the question fast as if it gives impression that candidate wants to finish soon or looks confuse or uncomfortable. Always answer the questions with confidence and alertness, also listen attentively before responding. Practicing the common questions as discussed earlier really helps to develop a normal pace to answer the questions. A common question, tell me about yourself, it should contain the answer about candidate’s profile, experience, interests and some basic personal information like age, living and siblings etc.

Stick to the Basics

At the interview place, it is not needed to overdo and present as an over smart person. Rather being simple, direct and polite is best approach. Sticking to the basics in everything during interview is important. Do not exaggerate, push, shout or speak too much that it becomes difficult to handle the questions. Answer to the point, yet show interest and focus during interview. Keep smile on the face and present courtesy. Do not aim at rocket science, sticking to the basics as mentioned, is enough, rest will do the profile, good communication and the good luck.

Show full confidence

During interview keep the moral highest, remain fully confident yet courteous and humble. Confidence should be reflected in communication and answers as well. Majority of experts and human resource specialists confess that confidence of the candidate’s major role in their successful interviews along with the other factors such as knowledge, skills and profile.

Do not be sweating or exhausted

Remaining calm and relaxed will not exhaust the candidate during interview. In order to maintain nice posture and body language, try not to sweat or feel exhausted, keep handkerchief or tissues to keep fresh looks, if felt sweating.

Show interest and courtesy

Interviewers not only look at the quality of answers of the candidate, but they closely observe if the body language and expressions also match with the answer. Therefore, showing strong interest all the time and remaining courteous and polite is a key factor for the fate of interview success. Candidate should develop trust and assurance in the mind of employers that job is made for them.

Speak with responsibility

All the words spoken during the interview are weighing towards final conclusion of interview result. Therefore, avoid using slangs, big promises, boasting, rather think before answering, take some time but no longer pauses. Staying polite and clear in communication makes employer involved and interested in the candidate.

Warm ending

As the employer is signals that interview is complete and briefs about next steps towards selection, candidate needs to thank with smile for giving opportunity to present themselves. Complement interviewer that is related to the interview experience and build connection by wishing to meet them again soon. It shows eagerness and interest in winning the job.

Remember! minor to major all details of interview process matter a lot. No one knows, what employer liked most to short list a candidate. It can be something minor for the candidate but it impressed the interviewer more to select for the job. For instance, if an interviewee is well dressed and well spoken, the interviewer selects the candidate majorly for these qualities, but candidate thinks interview was not good enough. So, there are no specific qualities that can be determined in winning job interview, however, considering the discussed factors and points a candidate can largely increase their chances during a job interview.

Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great First Impression
Yves Lafleur Jr

Yves Lafleur Jr is an administrator at Unified Career.