First impressions matter – especially at a job interview.

When you are preparing for an interview, your focus will likely be on the tough questions you might face during your meeting with the recruiter, the answers you should be giving, and professional but witty anecdotes you want to share to show your charismatic personality.

Before you get the chance to tackle these questions though, you might want to think back a step – from the moment you walk through the door to the interview room, the pressure is on, because the recruiter will be hoping for an outstanding first impression.

To help you ace your interview, we’ve put together a few points below to help you wow your interviewer in just a few minutes:

 

Dress appropriately

Trying to figure out what to wear for your job interview? You’re looking to impress, so dress in professional attire, like a suit or shirt and pants for a man/blouse and skirt/pants or a dress for a woman. Your clothes should not be too tight, too revealing, or too baggy. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror before the interview – do you look smart? If you’re not too sure, check with a friend. You should also try to avoid wearing too much jewellery, perfume or aftershave.

 

Arrive on time

Are you driving or travelling by public transport to your interview? Allow extra time for delays and aim to get there 10-15 minutes beforehand. Any earlier makes you look awfully keen, and you could end up waiting around for a while – you might also put added pressure on the employer if they hear that you have arrived early. Any later? This would probably be strike one for the interviewer, especially if you don’t tell them that you are running late.

 

Smile

A happy smile should be obvious – it’s a universal sign of friendliness. Use your natural smile, and don’t force it. As long as you come across approachable, that;’s a great start – even if you’re not the biggest smiler in the room. Oh, and don’t forget to brush and floss beforehand!

 

Make eye contact

Again, a fairly obvious tip. Eye contact shows the person you are speaking to that you are listening – it’s a vital tactic you should use whenever you meet someone new. Don’t overdo it though – too much eye contact can be quite intimidating – find the right balance between looking distracted and not taking your eyes off them.   

 

Shake hands the right way

Shake hands with a firm grip. A firm handshake, not too tight, and not completely limp, shows a sign of confidence. If you’re not already standing when your interviewer walks into the room, make sure you stand and offer a handshake when they do.

 

Get your interviewer’s name right

Although this should be a no brainer, it happens! This technique is especially helpful if you are meeting someone with an unusual name or if you have difficulty retaining new information.

Research names and titles beforehand – you can use LinkedIn or ask human resources. This will help you avoid an embarrassing couple of seconds struggling to pronounce their name in front of them.

 

Act interested

You should behave in your interview as if you actually want the job, even if you are secretly wondering if the position is a good fit for your talents. Showing you are interested rubs off well on your audience. It will engage the employer, and should produce a healthy conversation regarding the organisation and its needs, and determine whether you should pursue the position.

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