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Home How to Make a Great First Impression in a Job Interview in 5 Minutes | Unified Career

How to Make a Great First Impression in a Job Interview in 5 Minutes | Unified Career

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Your first few minutes of an interview can make a big difference in how successful the rest of the interview goes. Here are some tips to help you start strong, as well as cautionary tales from experienced interviewers about what to avoid.
 
1. When should I arrive for my interview?
While it is important to arrive on time so that you have enough time to settle in, five to ten minutes should suffice. However, the interview begins long before you sit down and shake hands with your interviewer. It's possible to meet someone on the way to work, while waiting in line for the elevator, or even while you commute. From the moment you get on your commute, you must project a professional, friendly, and confident attitude.
 
Talk to the receptionist, put your phone on silent and enjoy your surroundings. You might find something that could be a good topic for small talk later. Do not try to cram in last-minute details - you want your appearance to be calm, organized, and not flustered or under-prepared.
 
Here are some things you shouldn't do
 
"I heard someone smoking outside our building and complaining loudly on the phone about the early start of their meeting. It was a very strange sound, and I wondered why they were there. To my dismay, the noisy moaner was actually my next candidate when I arrived at my next interview. It was not a good start.
 
2. What to Do Before the Interview Start
Ensure that you are polite and friendly with everyone you meet during the interview process. You can greet the receptionist and walk through the open-plan office to get to your meeting-room. These touchpoints are important for your future employer and coworkers, who often share their impressions of visitors. You want to be positive in the eyes of everyone you meet.
 
Here are some things you shouldn't do
"I make it a point to meet candidates face-to-face. One candidate mistook me for an assistant and asked me rudely to buy them a drink. When they found out I was the head of the interview panel, it shocked them! The thing that most disappointed me the most was the notion that staff at any level should be treated in this manner.
 
3. What can I do to make a good first impression?
Non-verbal cues are more important than verbal cues when making your first impression. It's important to smile confidently, shake hands firm, make eye contact, and show that you are happy to be here and want the job. You should project enthusiasm, energy, and interest in all you do.
 
Dress wise, match your outfit to the company. Your recruiter will be able advice you on how to match your dress style with the company's. While you want to show personality and charisma, you also need to be a good fit. If in doubt, always go for the formal.
 
Here are some things you shouldn't do
 
"One candidate I interviewed requested a glass water while they waited. It was cold and must have been poured just before they met me, so I was very dampened by their first handshake. Always hold your drink in the left hand.
 
4. What can I do to prepare for the small talk
It can have huge consequences if you get the small talk wrong. It is a way to build trust and affinity and to start to create that intangible, yet essential quality of "chemistry" that defines all successful business relationships.
 
It's a good idea for interview preparation to plan ahead for possible topics. This will help you keep the conversation moving smoothly. It's important to identify topics that may be of mutual interest so that you can both ask and respond to credible questions.
 
Think about current themes. Have you seen your potential employer in the news lately? You might also ask about the possible impact of recent events on your company, such as new immigration laws or falling share prices, or serious malware attacks. Make sure to have something interesting to add in each instance.
 
Here are some things you shouldn't do
 
"One of the candidates I interviewed asked me non-stop questions about my family, job, company, news, and other topics. He didn't have much to share and didn't wait to hear my answers before asking the next question. This made him seem anxious and scattered.
 
5. What is the best way to convey a key message?
When assisting politicians in handling media, it is a good idea to have at least three main messages. These messages should be repeated throughout interviews.
 
It's also a good idea have two to three key points about what you offer and what your goals are. For example, "I'm up for managing a team", "I combine compliance experience and technical expertise" or "In my career, I have developed extensive digital transformation skillset."
 
These are the key points you want your interviewer to remember about you. These are the three key points that you want your interviewer to remember about you. Even in the initial few minutes, try to do so naturally. It is also important to be able to answer the most frequently asked questions early in your career, such as "tell me why this job" and "What do you understand about this job?"
 
Here are some things you shouldn't do
 
"I always ask people to describe what their business does. This simple question is so confusing that many people don't get it. Perhaps they are attending multiple interviews at once and haven’t taken the time to research. Interviewers will conclude that you are not interested in the job if you don’t seem to have a solid grasp of the company or why they hire.

How to Make a Great  First Impression in a Job Interview in 5 Minutes | Unified Career
Yves Lafleur Jr

Yves Lafleur Jr is an administrator at Unified Career.

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