First impression is important in every kind of situation wherever you are required to establish a good rapport and have a relationship.
This blog is in the series of how to have a successful interview and deals with the subject of How to make a good first impression at Job Interview. Suppose you are not exactly going for a Job interview then also the tips and suggestions given here are equally applicable for an “Internal Promotion Interview”, “Interview for Admission to an Academic Course” or any other kind of situation where you will be interviewed by one or more person to check your suitability.
Therefore, whatever is the specific situation, you are the candidate there and as a candidate you want to make sure that you are one of the most suitable for the job or the seat in the college / university. The fact of the matter is that you are required to sell sum total of your skills, education and experience in a convincing manner through the force of your pleasing personality.
Why First Impression is important in an Interview
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As you enter the interview room your first impression will heavily influence whether or not you are in the favourable list of the interviewers.
If you successfully perform the “rapport-building” in the initial moments of an interview (when you enter, meet and greet people), you are more likely to be rated higher on professional capabilities than others who are similarly qualified. Higher ratings lead to more follow-up interviews and eventually more job offers.
So, making a good impression can help you land a job.
How to Make a Good First Impression at Job Interview
Here are important ways tips on how to impress a potential boss / interviewers and walk away with a job offer.
Dress appropriately for the Job You Want
Your first interaction shall be non verbal. Before you even utter a word, the interviewer will notice what you are wearing, how you are looking today and what does your dress say about you. Therefore, make sure you look exceptionally smart and yet comfortable and pleasant in what you wear.
It is always recommended that you wear formal pants (not jeans!) which are well ironed with a matching nice shirt that will send out the message to your interviewer that you are taking this interview seriously. If the industry norm and the weather is not against it then you can also wear a tie and a matching formal jacket. If you are girl then you too can wear the same or an equivalent such as skirt. Of course, you should wear well polished formal dressed shoes.
Do keep in mind that candidates with loud and obnoxious hair colors, men with earrings are almost never taken seriously under normal circumstances as it’s not appreciated in most work areas. Make sure your clothes are not too tight, too loose or too revealing. Also avoid wearing too much jewellery, deodorant, perfume or an aftershave lotion.
Your appearance can certainly play a part in how you’re first perceived. When you show up in a neatly pressed suit and scuff-less shoes with a portfolio in tow, you’ll present yourself as a professional who is good at taking care of himself and has an eye for details.
Dress for the Job You Want, dress in professional attire as if you were making an important presentation, meeting with a key client, or having lunch with the senior vice president or CEO.
Enter smartly and gracefully
First impressions are everything – well almost. So when you enter you should be seen as someone who is smiling, pleasant and confident. Therefore, just when you are asked to go into the room, you should consciously relax your body muscles, pull a genuine smile across your face, inhale deep breaths and exhale slowly – do it three times, inhaling confidence, pleasantness and cheerfulness and exhaling our worries, tensions, anxiety.
Next walk gracefully upto the interview room with confident and sure steps, neither fast nor slow, stop at the door. Knock softly and then holding the door knob or door handle open the door half, smile and say “Hello” or “May I”. After you have made an eye contact, walk in and stand on the other side of the table facing the interviewer or interviewers.
Career advisor and professional development coach Sundeep Kataria recommends that you keep your head up, bulled slightly pulled up, shoulders neither drooping nor high, acknowledge the people in the room and smile, is the hint of a right body language.
A firm handshake is not too tight and not at all limp is one of the important reflectors of confidence and necessary part of a good body language.
It is always recommended that you shake hands in a standing position. In case of women, let them offer their hand first, this is mark of respect towards them.
The Portfolio Bag or Ladies’ Hand Bag
It is better that you walk in well organised with your documents, a few print outs of your resume, your portfolio, references pictures, certificates writing pad and pen.
Carry all these in a portfolio for a professional look. Make sure that there is no extra material or stuff in your bag and it is not overloaded with unwanted stuff.
Get Your Interviewer’s Name Right
Everybody loves his name. Thus build a better rapport with the interviewers and impress them by addressing them by their names such as Mr. So and so or Ms. XYZ. Therefore, getting their names right the first time is very important. This technique is especially helpful if you are meeting someone with an unusual name or if you have difficulty retaining new information.
Right Body Language
It is important that throughout the interview you are smiling, making eye contact at the appropriate times. Sit straight and keep your hands on your lap or on the edge of the table. Keep your arms uncrossed.
Also do not shake your leg unnecessarily – this is the sign of restlessness or nervousness.
To wrap up
With a little conscious effort, you can create a great first impressions at your job interview. Keep in mind the following:
- Dress appropriately
- Enter smartly and gracefully
- Greet the interviewers formally
- Carry a smart Portfolio Bag or Ladies’ Hand Bag
- Get Your Interviewer’s Name Right and use it during the conversation
- Have Right Body Language
For more benefit, you may like to watch these two short videos
Short Video: How to Prepare for Job Interview – Best Tips
Short Video: How to Instantly Get Self Confidence for Job Interview
Your feedback please
If you have any questions, doubts, suggestions or an experience to share then feel free to write in the comment box below.
Other useful links:
- Interview Tips for First Time Job Seekers
- How to get self confidence instantly for job interview
- Affirmations for Success in Job Interviews
- Ultimate Tips to Crack Interview
- How to Prepare for Job Interview – Top Tips
- Easy Ways to Ruin Job Interview
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Stay tuned for more tips, suggestions, information and videos.
About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.