You’ve landed yourself an interview! So, your CV and covering letter must have made a good impression as they want to see you. However, it is a lot easier to make a good impression on paper than it is face to face. Plus, if you make a bad face to face first impression, it probably won’t matter how good your CV is, as these things stick! But don’t worry, we have all the tips you need to make it a good one. Follow our instructions and you’ll be fine.
This is the first step to making a great first impression, and it’s an easy one. All you have to do is be punctual: make sure you are on time for the interview if not a little early, around 10 minutes is fine. Nobody wants somebody waiting around all day. Your punctuality will not go unnoticed… “Mr Johnson, a gentleman is in reception for an interview” “Brilliant, can you tell him I’ll be with him in a minute?”… Job done! Your timekeeping shows your potential hirer that you are professional, enthusiastic and that you really want this job.
Our tip would be to plan your day in advance. Find out where the interview is going to be and see how long it will take you to get there. Even do a trial visit to time it if you must. Set off in suitable time and give yourself some leeway, you cannot plan for traffic or delays. If you get there too early, you can always nip to Starbucks and have a coffee to calm your nerves.
It is always a good idea to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes – It’s your company and you’re looking for someone you can trust – make sure you act the way you’d want that person to. So, take the interview seriously, stay cool and calm and try to relax. No jokes, no chewing gum and try to sit up straight. Little tip: leaning forward can show you are interested in what the other person is saying.
We appreciate a lot of people enjoy a laugh and a joke, but until it is instigated by them – stay focused! Then even if they do instigate a joke, do not go too far.
Try to relax
It’s very easy for us to say “relax”, this job could change your life, or you may really need this opportunity, so you’ll be nervous. However, if you can, try to stay calm. If you’re looking smart, you’re keen, well mannered, and you’ve done your homework you’ll be fine. If you’ve not started your homework yet, here’s a great little blog about job interview preparation.
Before you have shaken a hand, talked about your experience or even opened your mouth, you have already been judged on how you have dressed for the interview. What you are wearing is a reflection upon who you are and how serious you are about the role available. The interviewer wants to see someone who they would be proud to represent their company. So, have a clean and tidy appearance and smart clothing (ironed shirt/blouse, tie, shined shoes), this indicates professionalism. Avoid jewellery and too much make up or aftershave. Remember, you need to look smart for work, you’re not off on a night out!
First of all, we mean confidence and not cockiness! We want to give the interviewer the feeling that you’re meant to be here, that the role is one that you will flourish in and none of it is out of your depth. So be confident, greet your interviewer as you walk in the door with a smile – remember to keep eye contact and give a firm (not too hard) handshake. To help with confidence, it’s good to practice interviewing techniques with family and friends and to prepare answers for questions you know will probably be asked (The 20 most commonly used interview questions).
Make your impression memorable
Don’t get confused on this one, there’s memorable in a good way and then there’s the guy who spilled a jug of water all over the boss – be the former! The best way to do this is give the right answers and be polite and friendly.
End the interview with another handshake and thank them for their time, showcase you’re genuine about wanting this opportunity. Dependant on what they say at the end of the interview, it’s always good to follow up later with an email thanking them for considering you for the role. This could be the thing that sways it for you.