You know the old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s always the case when meeting someone for the first time, but especially so when it comes to a job interview. Here are five tips to ensure that you leave a great first impression — and score the job.
Dress to Impress
While you might live in sweats and t-shirts during your job-hunting days, your potential boss should never know that. When you meet with your interviewer, dress for the job that you want. Men should wear a suit and tie, and women should wear an interview-appropriate blouse and skirt, or pants. For both men and women, clean hands and fingernails are crucial. And you should keep jewelry and fragrance to a minimum.
When you first meet the hiring manager, be sure to shake hands as you exchange initial greetings. But what if your interviewer doesn’t offer his hand? The protocol is to extend yours anyway, as a sign of good will. And if your nerves have gotten the best of you (leaving your hand a swampy, moist mess), keep a tissue in your pocket to wipe it off before walking into the interview.
Avoid Filler Words
Your potential boss just asked you one of those interview questions that’s bound to stump even the most confident candidate. Don’t let your nervousness show, though. Avoid using words, such as “like” or “um” to fill the air, which doesn’t look professional. You can buy a few extra moments of thinking time by saying, “That’s a great question,” and then launch into your answer.
Practice Good Posture
Imagine that you get into the hiring manager’s office — and it’s full of uncomfortable furniture. Resist the urge to slouch or hunch over as you summarize your skills set. Slouching can convey that you’re sloppy — or worse, that you don’t really care about the interview. As silly as it may seem, you may want to practice your sitting style before you get into the interview, to ensure that you sit up straight the entire time.
You made your way through the interview, answering every question confidently and to the best of your ability. But nothing can kill that good energy faster than bidding your interviewer a quick goodbye and bolting towards the door. Instead, thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet with you, shake (dry) hands again, and say that you’re available if he has any follow-up questions. After bidding your interviewer a good day, you can let out your breath in the hallway and pat yourself on the back for surviving a job interview — in style.
Going on a job interview can be a stressful experience for even the most seasoned job seeker. Practice your interviewing skills to ensure that you’ll always put your best foot forward and get the job you really want.