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First Impressions – How to Make the Most of The First 30 Seconds of Your Interview

On05/ 04 /18
Attending a face-to-face interview is the perfect way to build a rapport between candidate and employer. This is your chance to make a first impression – something which is difficult to make over the phone or via email. 

When preparing for an interview, often candidates seem to be more concerned about the questions they’ll face rather than how to make a good impression. With employers taking just a few minutes on average to make up their mind about a potential employee, first impressions really do count.  

To help you secure your dream job, we’ve summarised five ways you can impress a potential employer when meeting them for the first time.  

Be Punctual

Arriving on time to see your potential employer is vital. Remember the wise words of William Shakespeare? “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late” – you should keep this mantra in mind, especially when being late for a first meeting might suggest it’s a regular habit. 

Be Polite to Your Potential Colleagues

If you happened to arrive early, be prepared to wait and bear in mind that the interviewer might be busy at the time you arrive. While you’re waiting, if the opportunity comes to chat to other employees then take it. It’s a chance to find out about the company and culture.

You might be surprised to find out that some companies request their front desk attendants report back on behaviour of applications who come through the door, so make sure you are nice and well-mannered. 

Dress Smartly 

If you are really keen to be considered for the role you have applied for, avoid casual and dirty clothes and make sure that you look smart and well presented. 

Be Body Language Aware

Did you know that handshakes play a significant role in first impressions? A good handshake should be firm, but brief enough to avoid your interviewer become feeling awkward.

In terms of body language, try to eliminate mistakes such as an inappropriate sitting position e.g. slouching or avoiding eye contact, which can suggest that you feel insecure or are disinterested in the conversation. Also try to keep your body language open, and avoid crossing your arms or appearing guarded. 

Keep Calm 

Arriving stressed for your interview will make things harder and can also cause some embarrassing problems such as sweaty palms, so take a deep breath before stepping into the meeting room. 

To calm your nerves, make sure you are well prepared – why not check out our 5 tips to help keep your composure and perform at your best?  

Before the meeting itself, try to shift your focus to positive thinking and focus on success rather than failure. If you happen to have a long commute ahead, give up on repeating the same material over and over again and instead listen to your favourite audiobook or take a short nap – but don’t miss your stop! 

For more tips and professional advice on your next interview, check out our blog section!
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