Making An Impression In An Interview
Job interviews can be highly stressful. The worry of finding work in itself can lay a heavy burden on your shoulders. Some industries are incredibly competitive, adding another layer of stress to the process. So by the time you get that call or email and hear the hallelujah chorus sound in your head, the pressure of the process has likely built up to an intolerable level. That much stress can make a person nervous, hinder their ability to speak with confidence, or influence how they act in a situation that would otherwise have been something that they handled pretty well. What you need is to remember some helpful tips on how to make a great first impression in your important interview!
Lucky for you, we have just the information you need. If you read through this list of suggestions the day before your interview is set, you’ll be able to maintain your calm and composure and sail through the meeting without a care in the world.
Open The Show Well
The very first moments of your interview create the overture of that all-important first impression. If you know the names of the people who will be conducting your interview, do a little bit of research on them. More information is better than less! With info on these people at your command, you’ll be able to tailor your approach to what you know they’ll respond to. If you don’t know who your interviewers will be, do some research on the company culture; that will likely take you a long way. Don’t tailor your opening moments so much that you take yourself and your personality out of the process; find a balance.
Focus Your Message
Listening studies have proven that people only remember two to three soundbites when meeting a new individual. Focus your message so that your key points about yourself and your ability to do the job you’re applying for hit home and stay with the interviewers, even after they’ve seen other candidates. Keep most of your interview content and discussions directly related to the job since that’s what they’re hiring for but include personal details that set you apart from everyone else with the same skill set. Don’t overwhelm the interviewers with information, but don’t leave them feeling too little about you either. Share your most significant achievements, include your best sales numbers, and so on.
Ask and Answer
If you have any questions at all, don’t be afraid to ask them. Ask your questions in a confident manner so that your interviewers know that you are an outspoken person who is not afraid to learn new things and will ask if they need assistance. Try to run through a set of questions you might ask before you step into your interview, and keep them as stimulating as you can to keep the interest flowing in the conversation.
An excellent way to step into answering a question is to preface your answer by saying, “That’s a great question,” or something similar. Not only does this feel professional and show interest, but it also gives you time to formulate an answer. Answer any questions the interviewers might have for you in the same way you would ask them; with confidence. Even if your palms are sweating, answer with a full voice. Even if you’ve had to rapidly sort through files in your mind for the correct answer, try your best to keep your eyes focused and act like you have the information on the tip of your tongue.
Understand the Company’s Culture
In the job market today, you need to be a good cultural fit as well as a good fit for the position. The research you did before your interview on the company’s corporate culture will help you out here; it will also let you know if this job really is for you or if the company might not be a completely comfortable fit. You need to understand the company ethos and be in tune with the way they run things, be it casual or highly professional and corporate. You spend a lot of your waking hours at work; if the culture of the company doesn’t fit well with your personality or work style, it’s good to know that before committing to the role.
Though this is more of a second impression than a first one, it is essential to always follow up after an interview. It might sound a bit cheesy, and we aren’t necessarily advocating for a scented, handwritten note, but following up is an adult, professional thing to do. Thank the interviewers for their time, and tell them how much you appreciated the interview and how much you would love to get the job. It might be the difference between them remembering your name and your getting lost in an avalanche of other applicants; you never know! Make sure the employer will remember you.
We know job interviews are not all fun and games, and a lot rests on their outcome. That pressure can overwhelm you, but if you keep our simple tips in mind, you’ll get through the process a lot more easily.