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How to Make a Great First Impression at an Interview
First impressions Count
Human beings are a very judgemental species, it takes twenty minutes of positives to change that initial opinion, so it is crucial that you make a brilliant first impression. Dress smart - dark suits, white blouse/shirts, etc. Pay very close attention to the details, clean fingernails, polished shoes, subtle aftershave/perfume, etc. Don’t overdo the jewellery, keep tattoos covered.
Turn up on Time
If the journey is going to take forty-five minutes – allow an hour and a quarter. Arrive ‘early and calm’ rather than ‘just in time and frantic’. En route, take fifteen minutes in silence to imagine yourself in the role, your responsibilities, the job requirements. If nervous, spend the remainder of journey listening to some favourite loud music, particularly ‘anthem’ songs that you can sing along to. Raise those endorphins and arrive totally focused and ‘in the zone!’
Go into reception ten minutes early; be friendly, polite and pleasant to everyone that you meet – the person in overalls that nods at you as you walk into the building could be the CEO.
It’s the little things that often make the big difference. If you found the directions easy to follow, if you like the receptionists tie, the flowers on reception, the company logo, whatever, then say it BUT only say it if you mean it!
PA’s and Receptionists are often asked their opinions, their ‘gut feel’ as part of the decision process (particularly in smaller companies), so that five minutes of pleasantries with reception about the weather, the traffic and how easy you found them, could clinch you the role.
Upon arrival, read the literature, sit calmly, and make notes. Alternatively you could remain standing as this creates an impression of energy and importance and quite literally keeps you ‘on your toes!’
Smiling costs nothing, give you confidence and people’s perception of you will be more positive! Smile at everyone you meet and pass, however always smile with your eyes and mean it – it is easy to spot a false smile.
Greeting & Eye Contact
Ensure your greeting is confident but not overbearing. When you meet the interviewer for the first time look at their eyes long enough to register their eye colour and think of someone who they remind you of – this will be perfect initial eye contact and enable you to remember them on sight for the next meeting!
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