You have already passed the exam, been shortlisted and contacted by the human resources department. The only stumbling block that stands in the way of you being hired – the job interview. This is a make or break kind of thing for most job applicants. Needless to say, it is very important to make a good first impression. However, a minor hiccup before or during the interview can result in a major disappointment and cost you your dream job.
Here are helpful tips to make a good first impression at a job interview.
1. Don’t be late
Punctuality is a quality that prospective employers will be looking out for, especially during a job interview. If you arrive late, it sends the signal that you’re unreliable and not paying attention to details. To prevent this from ever happening, familiarize yourself with the venue and determine how much time you’ll need to get there. Also, go to bed early the night before the interview. It will ensure that both body and mind are well-rested so you can wake up on time.
2. Dress appropriately
When deciding on what clothes to wear, take into consideration the position you’re applying for. The way you dress represents how you carry and present yourself. Showing up properly dressed is an indication of your professionalism and shows that you are taking the application process seriously. Don’t overdress; don’t underdress either. If you’re eyeing an office-based job, wear business attire.
Dress as if you are making a presentation or meeting with an important client. For other jobs, the attire should be appropriate for the position you’re applying for. Whatever clothes you plan to wear, make sure that it looks neat and presentable. The clothes shouldn’t be too tight or too revealing. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or strong perfume.
3. Be honest
There’s a saying, “Honesty is the best policy”. Although some may argue that concealing “some information” is necessary when applying for a job, it’s advisable to be truthful in all your declarations. Lying about your educational background or academic achievements is a big no-no. Even if you are hired on the back of these misrepresentations, there is a strong possibility that you will be kicked out when management finds about it later. For all you know, the HR staff might call your references or look at your social media profiles. Tell your interviewer that what you lack in knowledge or skills, you can make up by being diligent, resourceful, and willing to learn.
4. Be kind and respectful to everyone
It’s important to show kindness to everyone you’ll meet. Be kind to receptionists, security officers, executive assistants, and other employees in the company. After all, they may be the same people you‘ll encounter every day in case you get hired. As a “guest”, you are expected to show your best behavior. Don’t act as if you own the place.
For instance, don’t chat loudly with your seatmate while others are being interviewed. Wait patiently for your turn; don’t act like you’re bored. Remember, you may already be evaluated even if you’re still waiting in the lounge. During the interview proper, remember to be respectful to the person you’re talking to. If the one in front of you is the HR manager, address that person as sir or madam.
5. Show interest and enthusiasm
To create a good impression, show that you’re interested and enthusiastic about the job. Be positive about the whole thing and enjoy the experience. Smile, be alert in processing questions the interviewer is asking, and be definitive in giving your answers. Prepare by researching about the company and practicing how to respond to common interview questions. Convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Highlight your accomplishments while working in your previous job. If you are a fresh graduate, emphasize your achievements as a student, both in academics and extracurricular activities.
With so many to choose from, employers can be choosy when they hire. These tips on how to make a good first impression at a job interview cannot guarantee that you will get the job, but they can definitely get you a little closer. First impressions can shape perceptions of professional competence. Those who perform well during this stage will gain the upper hand over the competition.
With preparation and the right attitude, you’ll be able to do things right and come out with flying colors. Making a good impression can, and will, help you secure more job offers in the future. And that might just be your key to your dream career. This is probably your best opportunity to land a job, so give it all you’ve got.
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