How to Make a Great First Impression at an Interview

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A very old proverb says, “First impression is the last impression”. This is applicable to all individuals, whether you are professional, nonprofessional, teacher, student, etc. For example, from the first round of interview, how a candidate leaves his image among the interviewers/employers and how the interviewers/employers put his vision on a candidate, matters till the last round of interview.

So, the best etiquettes for the comprehensive professional job seeker is to reach to the job interview with complete preparation and with an aim to impress the interview panel in the first meeting itself. The candidate needs to give adequate effort in order to take him closer to the job success. Here are a few tips that guide you on how to leave a great first impression during a job interview.

Dress appropriately

Whatever be the occasion, the type of dress you wear speaks about your overall personality, like; clothing sense, characteristics, etiquettes, etc. Similarly, the type of attire you wear says about your professional etiquettes and the interviewers first judgement start from there itself. No matter, the interview is on the phone, with the group of people, or one-to-one, adequately dress up for any kind of interview because you never know while giving phone interview when the interviewer says straight away to come on Skype or any other video chat messenger.

Make sure, your dress is neat, tidy and properly pressed. There should not be ripped or hole in the dress. Upper and lower dress should match with each other. For any season, the best interview attire for men is “two-piece suit and tie” and for women, shirt/top and skirt/pants. If you are still confused about what to wear for a particular job interview, try to contact the employees of a company and try to enquire about what to wear for the job interview and how they had dressed-up in the interview.

Apart from your dress, your shoes should be polished, your hair should be groomed, and your hands & face should look neat. Wear minimum jewelries - for men, wearing a hand watch is more than sufficient and for women, wearing earring and hand watch with light makeup is enough to give a professional look.

Reach to the destination early

Don’t make any single mistake when your dream job is on the line. If, you reach 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time of the interview, that means, “you are on time”, but reaching exactly at the scheduled time shows that “you are late”. Reaching before the scheduled time is good, but if you are a bit delayed or stuck in the traffic, just can call make to the concerned person to say “you will be late for this many hours due to so and so reason” before he/she (interviewer) calls you.

You may get an appreciation for this attitude. On the other hand, if you are late and the concerned person/interviewers have been waiting for 30 minutes/1 hour, they may consider you as either unprofessional or you are not at all interested in giving interviews and you are wasting their time.

Shake hands with a syrupy smile

When you meet the hiring manager/interviewer for the first time, don’t forget to shake your hand with them by giving a stunning smile. While shaking hand, the interviewer should feel that you are confident and well prepared for the interview.

The most important things that need to be considered before shaking hands are as follows.

  • You should be the one to extend the hand first
  • Give a firm handshake, but make sure that you should not hurt the other person's hand
  • Once you hold the hand of other person, shake it once or twice.
  • Make eye contact with another person during handshake.
  • Make sure, while shaking hands, your hands are cleaned and wiped, otherwise, the hiring manager/interviewer may think you lack manners. Before walking into the interview, keep a tissue/hanker-chip in your pocket to wipe your hands.

Be humble with everyone

Be humble with everyone you meet over the interview, because you never know who the decision-makers are and how you interact with a person may cost you the job. Carry this attitude from the time you get the first call for the interview.

If you become successful in the first attempt and have been considered for the in-person interview round, start showing your same attitude from the time you enter into the gate of the company till the end of the interview. These are the people you may meet at the interview place - receptionists, managerial associate, HR team members, co-workers of the company, and the hiring decision-makers.

Show Your Interest

Act like you are extremely interested to work, even if, you are unaware about the job profile much or you yourself don’t know whether you are interested to acquire that job or not. Acting and showing interested can engage the interviewers with you for more time that can help you to learn more about the company, employers, interviewers, and the job profile. Also, it can help you to take the correct decision about the job that has been offered to you.

Be confident and avoid using filler words

For any reputed job position, self-confidence becomes a resolving factor in the first meeting of the job interview, because employers don’t want to recruit a candidate who is shy and doubtful by nature for a particular job position.

If you really want to get your dream job, come out of your weaknesses (like; shyness, nervousness and suspicious nature) and prepare yourself well before the interview, so that, during interview eye contact and overall personality will automatically bring out your confidence level.
The things you should not do during an interview are: keeping chewing gum in your mouth, shaking hands & legs, keeping hands inside the pocket, moving hands on your heirs, etc.

During the interview, sit straight and listen to the questions carefully and answer the questions after a pause. Answer the questions when you are sure about the answer, otherwise say "Sorry, I don’t know the answer". Don’t be overconfident. If you are confused about certain aspects of your answer, don’t show your indecisiveness by using some filler words to fill the gaps, such as; like, um, etc, it is better to borrow few extra moments from interviewers to think about the correct answer.

Ask intelligent & smart questions

In many companies, at the end of the interview, candidates get an opportunity to ask a few questions to the interviewer. This opportunity is only given to the candidates to check their interest towards the job profile and the company. So, without missing this golden opportunity, ask some intellectual questions that can show your deep interest in the company and the job profile. But, don’t turn the question towards “the salary" and “the company benefits” otherwise interviewer may think, you only need this job for a good pay.

You can ask the questions like, if I get the employment, what are the challenges I have to pass through to become an ideal employee? How can I help in achieving the company goal? And how does the company motivate their works and employers to understand the company value?

Silence your Phone

Before getting into the interview process, don’t forget to switch off your phone or keeping it in the silent mode. Due to some reason, if you forget to silence your phone and in between the interview, your phone starts ranging, you will score a negative point for unprofessional behavior. It may happen; the continuous ringing of your phone may divert the interviewer’s mind or your mind from the actual task, or may spoil the whole process of the interview.

Instead of getting embarrassed in the interview, it is better to silence your phone before coming to interview. Likewise, you can peacefully attend your interview without thinking about, how many phone calls you are getting or who is sending messages on Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc.

Keep everything tidy & well-organized

In the first round of the face-to-face interview, the interviewer asks for a copy of your resume. While coming for the interview, as per your convenience, you should carry a handbag that can easily accumulate all necessary stuffs like, phone charger, pen, handkerchief, mobile phone, eatable items, water bottle, etc. You should keep all the items in an organized way, else while picking out the resume from inside your bag; other things may also come out together with your resume in front of the interviewer.

Cleaned face & beautiful smile

Make sure your face look neat and clean, and you are able to give a beautiful smile. Before coming for an interview, see your face in the mirror to observe whether is there anything looking odd or dirty on your face. Also, to give beautiful smile, look at your teeth; your teeth should be cleaned and in an order to give beautiful smile. If, is there any problem go to a good dentist.

Show your gratitude at the end of interview

Once the interview gets over, don’t forget to show your gratitude by saying “thank you” with a beautiful smile and by giving them a solid handshake. By thanking them, you can also say “I am very happy to be here and I will be pleased to hear from you again”. Your gratefulness may prove successful in impressing employers/interviewers.

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