You don’t have long to show your best side to your potential employer. Think about when you meet someone for the first time, you tend to make your assumptions about them pretty quickly.
For us non-hiring managers, we have a chance to meet people more than once and get to know them better thus we could eventually realise our first impressions were completely wrong. Alas, hiring managers do not have the luxury of meeting you multiple times. You’ve got one meeting to show that you could be someone they’d want to hire. From the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, here’s how to make a fighting first impression.
It’s important to keep good eye-contact with your interviewer when you first meet them. Just to be clear, I don’t mean you should gaze unblinkingly into your interviewer’s eyes – that is very likely to put them off you completely – but do make the effort to look at them regularly. Often when you meet someone you barely look them in the eye at all because it can feel a bit awkward. In this situation, though, it is important to connect with your interviewer like this. If you are looking at the floor/ceiling/everywhere but at them then you’ll come across as nervous and unsure of yourself. You probably are nervous and unsure of yourself but you’re trying to come across as confident and prepared, remember? Good eye-contact will help to convey that.
A good handshake can be pretty hard to achieve. It needs to be firm but not too firm – you don’t want to break any fingers. Handshakes are important; they are a universal sign of professionalism and politeness. You need to show that you’ve got confidence in yourself by giving a good handshake. If you’re worried you’re going to suffer from sweaty hands (which, if you’re nervous, is a distinct possibility) then put a hankie or tissue in your pocket and give it a squeeze before you go in for the handshake. Keep it brief, two shakes should do, lean in for the shake and then step back when it’s done. Make sure, if you’ve got more than one interviewer, that you shake all their hands, not just the “head” interviewer.
You need to make sure both your body language and your spoken language give off a good, confident vibe. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and walk with confidence. Smile. Not only will you look more approachable and friendly but you’ll feel more relaxed. In terms of what you say, introduce yourself when they call you into interview. Yes they already know who you are (hopefully) but a quick introduction is a good way to start off. It breaks the ice and means you don’t have awkward conversations about the weather or your journey there.
Dress to impress and you’ll naturally feel more confident. You need to dress smartly, whether the other people in the office are or not, because you haven’t secured yourself a job yet. You can wear flip flops and shorts when you’re an invaluable asset to the company but right now you need to show the hiring manager that you’ve made the effort. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably though because if you’re not it will show in your body language.