How to make a great first impression?
It does not matter whether you live in a city or the country side, people tend to judge on first impressions, especially when you are in an interview situation.
How long does it take? Roughly 7 seconds. That’s about how long our attention span can be. Think of video clips or the loading time of a website, our patience is not what it used to be. In fact, studies have shown that we used to be more patient and were not as committed to instant gratification.
So how do you make a great first impression? Below are some tips we share with our educators that when applied certainly creates a positive start to the interview process.
Be on time:
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice but the scary thing is, how many people don’t plan their journeys in advance. If you are travelling to uncharted territory, go extra early or have a practice lap the day before. I have not interviewed candidates whom arrived late and had not called or made an effort to get to the interview on time. I would advise to get there 15 minutes early, this gives you enough time to settle and not put pressure on the interviewer if you get there 30 minutes early.
I have close friends who tend to be negative, I know them and can have some perspective. In an interview you should gravitate to the positive side of life. Explaining that even though times can be dark, this is what you would or have done to improve the situation and learn from it. Negativity breeds negativity and many employers would avoid giving you a chance if you do not see the silver lining in situations.
This might be new to the list of the standard things to make a great first impression, but think about it. Your first impression might be online. Be cautious of your security settings and that your accounts are private. Future employers may wish to do some research (stalking) before offering the interview and an old post or a group you like could be controversial and may not go in your favor. By all means, do as you wish, but perhaps it does not need to be in the public domain.
If your phone rings during an interview, well … you basically broke a golden rule and nobody can help you, hang your head in shame and just leave. It says you have not prepared yourself before the interview. Turn the phone off. You can take calls, txt your mates and watch Netflix to your hearts content afterwards. Come on people.
And I mean it. Listen not just to the words, but the insinuation as well. Listen to the speaker and to yourself. Be aware of your tone and volume. If you do not listen to the question correctly, your answer will not strike the correct chord and your comprehension skills might be judged. An interviewer would prefer if you just asked them to repeat the question rather then you awkwardly stumbling around your words.
Dress to impress:
No word of a lie, but I once met a guy who arrived in double denim and a backward cap. He provided comedy fodder for the office, but he also did not get the job. You should rather overdress than underdress, you can recover from one but not the other.
This might sound like a contradiction, but your values and your way is just as important because this is who you are. Something you cannot hide, if the interviewer likes you for you, then you are in the right place. A fake version of you will only prolong the inevitable so be yourself, but the best dressed version.