A famous saying goes: "You have only one chance to make a first impression." Does that sound corny? Studies show that 33% of managers decide after the first 90 seconds whether to take the job. How to make a good impression before the interview begins?
1. The correct dress code
There is an English expression "Dress to impress", which translates as "dress to impress." Make sure that what you wear at the interview emphasizes your strengths: professionalism, a business approach, and taste. Take care of the dress code on the eve of the interview. If you find it difficult to choose an outfit, always choose a business style. In the case of choosing clothes for an interview, it is always better to be proactive and a little "overdo" than to look careless or not professional enough. Do not abuse perfume before the interview itself.
Find out in advance how long it takes to get to the place where the interview will take place. Consider traffic conditions and traffic jams during peak hours. Try to be in place 5-10 minutes before the interview. If you want to make a good first impression, do not come for an interview earlier than 10 minutes before the appointed time. 5-10 minutes is enough to catch your breath, put yourself in order and find an office.
In case you are late, be sure to notify the employer about this. Some applicants believe that a 5-15 minute delay is uncritical and will not be noticed by the employer. But this is not so. Some employers will note this for themselves and draw conclusions about you as a not-so-punctual candidate. Even worse, if you are late, and the employer calls you to clarify whether you will arrive.
3. Positive attitude and smile
When meeting with the interviewer, be confident and smile.
“I will say stupid things.”
- Then smile. This is always appropriate. You need to smile when you do not know the answer. It does not make you smarter, but it is more pleasant for those who look at you.
In the first minutes, eye contact with a recruiter is important. Tune in to a positive interview outcome. Before the interview, remember the situations from your life when you felt unshakable self-confidence, you were a winner. Try to enter this emotional state and maintain it throughout the interview.
In Russian culture, as a rule, men shake hands, while women do without a handshake. However, pay attention to how you give a hand and shake a hand to the interlocutor. The hand, palm down, indicates closedness, restraint, unwillingness to open. An “open” hand, palm up, characterizes you as a communicative person who makes contact. A weak handshake is perceived as uncertainty, shyness and indecision. On the contrary, too strong a handshake is often characteristic of people prone to mood swings, dominance, outbreaks of aggression, and sometimes with a tendency to manipulate other people. A moderately strong, but not overly strong handshake arouses respect and trust.
5. Notebook and pen
Always take a notebook and pen for an interview. Why is it important? You will be able to record key points during the interview. Thus, you show the recruiter that you are an organized person. The leaders of large companies that have achieved a lot have the habit of writing down important thoughts so that later they can be addressed. By recording, you show the interlocutor that what he says is important to you. At the beginning of the interview, check with the interviewer if he doesn’t mind that you note important points in a notebook for yourself. Be a professional!
6. Eye contact
Try to maintain eye contact with the recruiter all the time. A stray look around the room, firstly, distracts you from the interlocutor’s speech, and secondly, makes him understand that you are bored to listen to him. It’s bad when the job seeker “looks at the table”. But on the contrary, a close look into the interlocutor’s eyes will be perceived as an invasion of the personal zone. Find a middle ground - look into the eyes of the interlocutor when he speaks, to make it clear that you are listening carefully, but periodically look away when you speak so as not to put a constant glance on the interlocutor.
Are you able to comply with all these six points? And what else, in your opinion, is important in order to make a good first impression? Share your thoughts in the comments!
What does it mean to make a good impression?
Let us make a reservation right away: the task of a professional recruiter (if he is really a pro) is not to evaluate you purely subjectively “like - not like” at the level of emotions, without rational justification. His task is to evaluate:
- Will you be able to adequately cope with the functions that the vacancy suggests. Your abilities, experience, potential are important here. And abilities and potential do not always depend only on professional knowledge and experience - character, psychotype also matter. For many modern professions, the so-called soft skills are more important than highly specialized professional knowledge. For example, communicative skills are critically important somewhere (and they can also be different), and somewhere - the ability to concentrate deeply and show extreme attention to details. Qualities such as responsibility, punctuality are important everywhere. Candidates who appear unreliable and irresponsible are immediately excluded from the final list.
- Will you fit into the team. Simply put, will it be comfortable for your colleagues to interact with you. The team result of the work may depend on this, and indeed the atmosphere in the team affects a lot. Rather, they will take a “average person” comfortable in communication than a brilliant professional who gives the impression of a conflict person or does not fit into the company’s culture of communication so much that interaction with him can create discomfort for everyone else. It is also a question of your adaptation in a new place: if it is obvious that it will be difficult for you to fit into the team, there is a risk that you will not stay in the company for long because of your own discomfort. From the point of view of the employer, this is a risk that soon you will have to spend time and money again on selecting and adapting a new employee.
- Your interest in this work and serious attitude. This, again, is due to the fact that it is unprofitable for employers to accept those who are likely to quit within the first few months, even if they are very experienced professionals.
- General adequacy. Yes, this is a too streamlined concept, but the reality is that in every company there is more than one story of an unsuccessful hiring of a “person-problem”: for example, a chronic “tardiness” or a brawler, because of which the company lost an important customer, or simply too torn away from reality, which also had a very negative impact on the job. After them, recruiters, and direct managers taking part in the interviews, are very afraid of getting burned and sometimes “blow into the water”. Do not give extra reasons for this with your behavior.
Therefore, at the interview it is important not to make annoying mistakes in communication that may be misinterpreted not in your favor, and to do everything possible so that accidents do not prevent you from making a good impression. This will help the simple rules of good form. If you are well acquainted with business etiquette, then you know them anyway. True, knowing and observing are not the same thing. Before the interview, it will not be superfluous to recall them again.
1. arrive on time
You cannot be late for an interview. Everyone knows about this rule and still often violates it because of offensive accidents. You can give a thousand reasons, explaining that you are actually very punctual, just this time you were unlucky, but alas - you’ll already spoil your first impression of yourself and get a minus in your assessment. You must be prepared for traffic jams, vehicle breakdowns and the fact that you are not able to immediately find the address you need. Count the time on the road with a margin: it’s okay if you appear on the spot earlier than necessary, but once again you will have time to gather your thoughts, assess the situation and exclude the effect of “soaring” and excitement due to rush.
2. Warn in advance about changing plans
This is also an elementary rule, which, however, is very often violated. Everything happens, including circumstances that cannot be foreseen. Feel that you may not have time for an interview - try to call in advance and honestly explain the situation, ask to set another date. This is perceived much better than if you just do not come, but call later. In the second option, conclusions will be made about your optionality.
3. Dress accordingly
Of course, appearance is not the main thing, but they will meet at the interview anyway according to manners and clothes. So that the latter does not disappoint, take care of your appearance. How to do this, we have already told. General advice for everyone, regardless of whether your work involves a presence in the office: the main thing is to look neat and defiant. As for the style of clothing, try to find out in advance whether the company has a dress code (of course, this applies to cases when it is supposed to work in the office). Nothing wrong with asking about a dress code when making an appointment. If there is no strict dress code, then it is permissible to dress in a restrained casual style.
4. Take only what you need with you.
Perhaps caffeinated, you think better. But this does not mean that you need to take an unfinished glass of cappuccino with you for an interview. A minimum of things - a minimum of problems. And it’s certainly not worth coming for an interview with packages from the store - you will demonstrate that you are not very interested in this work, since you just came here “along the way”.
Perhaps the recruiter will ask for a printed copy of your resume or portfolio. All this should be ready so that you do not have to rummage through your bag, delving into a pile of extra pieces of paper and taking away precious minutes of the interview. Of course, your interlocutor can print all this himself, since you already sent these documents to him. But why don't you use the simple opportunity to show your self-discipline and business spirit?
5. Set aside the phone and turn off the sound
This is a good manners rule for any business meeting. The man who buried himself on the phone, thereby showing his disinterest in what is happening around, and the purpose of his visit. Yes, and in anticipation of a meeting, it’s more useful for you to run your eyes over your resume and prepare the main theses of an oral story about yourself than to flip through a social media feed.
6. Be polite to everyone
They begin to evaluate you even before you enter the office and start the conversation. Many recruiters and direct managers who select an employee for their team closely monitor how a candidate behaves when he appears in the office. Be polite with the receptionist, and if you are taken to the meeting room through the workrooms, say hello to the staff who are sitting there at the entrance. They pay attention to such trifles, and you have a chance to show yourself as a person with whom it is pleasant to deal with.
7. Make contact
Do not be afraid to take the first step when communicating with a recruiter (or your potential boss) - give him a hand, start a conversation yourself. Try to initially set a positive tone for communication: “melt the ice” with a light appropriate joke (just don’t overdo it!) Or a comment about the weather. Be open and friendly, but at the same time try to stay within the framework of a business conversation. For example, if you notice letters or diplomas in the interlocutor’s office or know something about his successful work projects, ask about it - he will be pleased. You may find common themes and even common acquaintances in the business world. This will help establish informal contact, which is so important for the emergence of genuine human sympathy. At the same time, you will demonstrate your communication skills, which may be important for this vacancy.
8. Do not cross personal boundaries
Trying to establish contact with the interlocutor, it is important to stay in the middle ground. Switching to a friendly style of communication, embarrassing attempts to flatter inappropriate compliments, promise personal benefits if the recruiter helps you get this job, an overly detailed story about your life with the aim of provoking admiration or, conversely, pity, will all play against you .
9. Avoid unnecessary emotionality.
Even if you are very much inspired by a vacancy, this is the company of your dreams, you don’t need to try to impress your interlocutor with the pressure of emotions and even more so put pressure on him (“Believe me, I'm the one you need!”, “Please, please give me a chance, this work I need it like air! I promise you will not regret it if you take me! ”). Excessive expression may give the impression of your imbalance. Try to show your interest in a calm tone. Just tell us what attracts you to this company and this vacancy, ask more questions about the essence of the work - thereby you will make it clear that you are really interested in it.
10. Be honest, but avoid negativity
A rare interview does without uncomfortable questions. Reasons for finding a job, conflicts with the leader, professional failures - it is important for the employer to compile a complete picture of your experience.
Be honest, but don’t go negative: be careful when speaking about previous executives and the companies you worked for. And certainly you should not try to deceive the interlocutor: the personnel market is smaller than it seems, your interviewer may be a friend of your former boss, and recruiters of different companies are often familiar with each other - it will not be difficult for them to inquire about you and check your recommendations. About typical mistakes in the story about ourselves, we wrote here. And how to answer uncomfortable questions - here.
11. Try to respond calmly
It happens that the interviewer's behavior at the interview is annoying. Perhaps this stress interview is one way to test your communication skills. For example, asking a lot of questions in a row, they test your attentiveness and ability to concentrate. It is not surprising if the work involves a large flow of oral information in multitasking mode (you are arranged as a personal assistant to the head, administrator in the office, manager for working with clients). Often and abruptly interrupted, trying to confuse? Perhaps check stress resistance. You can react with restraint and benevolence - get a plus sign to your candidacy. Another question is whether you can then work in the same mode constantly, are you familiar with this format. If not, this is not the job you need. Therefore, do not hesitate to directly ask the interviewer if you understand correctly that a vacancy involves a lot of communication in a stressful mode.