How to Make a Positive First Impression During a Job Interview
Learn a few small tips to have a great interview
Job interviews are always a tense experience. You want to make a good impression, but you're also worried about saying the wrong thing. And on top of that, you're nervous about how you look and whether or not you'll be able to answer all the interviewer's questions.
It's enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. But don't worry - with a little preparation, you can easily create a positive first impression during your next job interview. Just follow these simple tips:
1. Dress for the role
It's important to dress appropriately for a job interview. However, this doesn't mean that you have to wear formal outfits for every single job you apply to. You have to consider the industry, your role, and the company culture.
For example, some industries like finance and insurance find it critical to present a professional appearance. So, while having green hair and visible tattoos won't work in your favor in such areas, you'll find that design and branding companies are happy to see such signs of creativity and individuality.
So, do your best to dress in a way that shows you're a good fit for the job you're applying to. But no matter industry you're going to work in, it's critical to be well-groomed and prepared.
I suggest going through the company website and finding their career pages and their mission and vision statements. Such content and any images you find can tell you a lot about the company culture.
Likewise, take a look at the CEO's LinkedIn content and any YouTube videos you find of the company. You'll get a real glimpse into how the company presents itself. And if you're willing to, you can tailor your look to better fit their standards.
2. Be early for your interview
The bare minimum that you should do to avoid a negative impression during your interview is to be on time.
However, I recommend coming in early if you can for a few reasons:
- To find the right location for your interview. It often happens that you can lose your way in a new building or part of town you're unfamiliar with
- To relax and mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming meeting. If you're rushed and stressed when you come into the room, it'll show in your body language and attitude
- To make a good impression on the receptionist or anybody else you might meet before the interview itself. These people can give their own feedback to the interviewer about how they found you
3. Research the company
If you are serious about wanting the job, you should always do research on the company and try to find out as much as you can about it. Get familiar with the company's products, services, culture, and goals. Here's how:
While this is a time-consuming task, it will be worthwhile because you'll be on familiar ground when you do your interview. And not only that, such research will help you figure out if you want to work for this particular company.
4. Engage in small talk
Small talk is an essential part of every interview, yet many job seekers dread it. They see it as a waste of time or view it as an opportunity to make mistakes.
However, small talk serves an essential purpose. It helps you connect with your interviewer on a personal level and shows that you're comfortable in social situations.
Remember, that companies don't hire people for their job skills alone. They also employ people based on their ability to get along with other people. It's not unusual for highly qualified people to not get hired because they struggle to collaborate or win the goodwill of their coworkers.
Great businesses prefer to hire well-rounded people who are skilled and sociable over geniuses who can't work in a team.
5. Ask questions
One way to create a positive impression during your interview is to ask thoughtful questions. This shows that you're engaged and interested in the role you're applying for.
Prepare a few questions in advance so that you don't have to think about them on the spot.
You can ask about the company's plans for the future, their work culture, or what challenges you might face in the role you're applying for.
Asking questions also gives you the chance to assess if the company and the people who work there are a good fit for you. You’ll learn more about your opportunities to grow in the company and what your day will look like.
6. Talk about relevant experiences
Interviewers are looking for real and measurable ways to gauge whether you're suitable for a role. One way to help them feel more confident about hiring you is to talk about your past experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
If you don't have work experience, don't worry. You can talk about hobbies or educational experiences where you've done various tasks and interacted with others.
Such conversations create a vivid picture of the kind of person you are and also help interviewers understand if you're a potential fit.
7. Be proactive with ideas
One tactic that I've found impressive is coming to an interview with some ideas and suggestions prepared in advance.
For example, if you're getting into a social media role, you could showcase some ideas for future posts. While your idea may or may not be used, the real message you convey is that you're proactive and you care.
It's small efforts like these that give you an edge over everyone else and compels interviewers to remember you.
8. Keep doing interviews
If you're someone who gets nervous at the thought of an interview, then an excellent way to develop confidence is to remove the novelty of the experience.
Try to get as many interviews as you can even if you're met with rejection. At some point, you'll stop taking it so personally and start feeling comfortable. And you can begin to show more of who you are.
It's like exposure therapy. When you get comfortable doing interviews, you'll eventually find a place where you get comfortable with the whole process and leave a positive impression because of how confident you are.
A job interview is an opportunity to show a potential employer who you are and what kind of employee you'll be. It's your chance to make a positive first impression and stand out from the rest of the candidates.
By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of impressing your interviewer and getting the job you want. And don't forget, the interview is also a chance for you to get to know your potential employers better. You can also assess whether this job is right for you and whether the company offers you the potential to grow. Keep trying and good luck!