They say you never get a second change to make a first impression. That is never more true than when you arrive at an interview. Everything from the way you’re dressed to the way you interact with the receptionist is scrutinized by the hiring managers. So, how can you improve your first impression and convince the manager to call you back for a second interview or with a job offer? Here are a four ways you can make the best impression possible.
- Your physical appearance. While casual is becoming the norm for many workplaces, it is still advised by employment professionals to dress and look professional. Pay attention to your hygiene. Make sure your skin, hair, and nails are clean and neat. Even if you don’t wear a suit, you can make professional wardrobe choices. For women, this could be a tailored skirt or slacks and a button down shirt. For men, you can skip the jacket in lieu of a tie or just a pressed professional shirt. Don’t wear perfume or cologne because you never know who will react negatively to the scents.
- Attitude is everything. It is a universal truth that negativity will turn off anyone looking to hire you. Don’t speak poorly about your previous manager or co-workers. Don’t sound desperate for a job or let the manager know about negative situations in your life. Instead, be positive about their company, the specific job, and your accomplishments. Confidence and excitement will go a long way to communicating the right things to the manager.
- Use the right language. There are so many buzz words that have become so common they really are a burden on job seekers who overuse them. Phrases to avoid include calling yourself a “people person,” or indicating that you are a team player. Multi-tasker is also a nail in the coffin for candidates. Rather than trying to pepper your discussion with words you think they want to hear, be genuine about your experience, strengths and weaknesses.
- Be eager but not pushy. It seems like there are two distinct paths that job seekers can take when talking in the interview. They can either seem too excited or not excited enough. For instance, when an interviewer asks if you have any questions for them it is best to respond with a question rather than saying, “No.” This will show the interviewer that you did your homework, learned about the opportunity, and are showing initiative. On the flip side, you don’t want to come across as too aggressive. It is important to walk that fine line.
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