Make that first impression a good one.
Job interviews always freak me out. I think the only time I wasn’t nervous as hell during a job interview was when I was the supervisor giving the interview haha. Actually, no. Scratch that. I was still nervous then, especially the first time, because my manager walked up to me and said, “Chris, I’m going home early today, so you have three interviews to do today. Here are their applications. The first one should be here in less than an hour.”
That was my first interview ever, so I think I was pretty nervous for that one, having zero training, guidance and preparation in how to conduct a job interview.
If you’ve got an interview coming up this week, here are five tips to help you put your best foot forward. Your first impression matters. It matters more than it should, so pay attention to details ahead of time so that your resume can speak for itself.
Let me know how it goes, okay? Good luck =)
1. Your Appearance
Please don’t walk into an interview wearing anything less than professional business attire. If the interviewer is dressed more formally than you are, that is not a good sign for you. You are already off to a bad start.
Along with your clothing, there is also your hygiene and grooming. Don’t make excuses; just be prepared. Your hair, your skin, your teeth, your breath, your fingernails — all of these little details need to be addressed before you walk through the door.
It’s not hard. All the other candidates are ready. Don’t be remembered as the one person who showed up looking like they just woke up from a nap.
2. Your Greeting
You don’t need to do anything fancy here. Just make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and a smile, say hello and sit down when invited to do so.
3. Your Enthusiasm
You don’t need to blow people away here, but a little enthusiasm can go a long way. You don’t want to give the impression that you are desperate or some kind of weirdo, but you do want them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you really do want to work for this company. The way to convey that message is to do your homework ahead of time — research the company and know what the job entails — and to express how you are the right person for the job.
They will remember the candidates who clearly want the job, but they will also remember the ones who seemed apathetic and distracted. If you want the job, then be remembered as that candidate who clearly wanted to be there.
4. Your Confidence
No employer wants to hire someone who is plagued by self-doubt. Show them that you believe in yourself and that you know you are up to whatever challenges the job holds. This confidence will be evident before you even sit down or speak your first sentence.
5. Your Resume
All of the first four things listed above are going to be noticed before you even have a chance to sit down and discuss your resume. So those things do matter, but if your resume has problems, don’t assume that your appearance and demeanor will hide those problems.
Above all else, companies want employees that they can trust and rely on to do what needs to be done, to do it on time, and to do it right the first time. When employers see gaps in employment where you quit without having another job lined up — or where you were terminated — that is something that they are going to have to zero in on and discuss in depth with you. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is a major concern for them, and it’s something that you need to be ready to talk about at length. You’ll need to convince them that you are someone they can count on to show up on time every day, ready to work, and capable of getting the job done.