How to ensure your first impression last in a job interview

three men walking

In our previous article How to nail a job interview in the first 5 minutes, we have discussed the importance of first impression in job interview and gave three top tips. In this article, Sean Li, Director of Robert Walters Shanghai, will go on to discuss what else you could do to maximise your interview opportunity and make a strong start.

Treat everyone you meet as your interviewer

“I have heard a HR manager telling us someone stood outside their building, smoking furiously and complaining  loudly on their phone about the early start time of the interview and wondered loud why they were even there – and it turned out this noisy moaner was the candidate he’s meeting. Not a great start!” Sean said.

Make sure that you’re polite and friendly to everyone you come across in the interview process. From greeting the receptionist, to the people you share a lift with, to walking through an open-plan office to reach your meeting room – these are all touchpoints with your potential future employer.

Co-workers will often share their impressions of visitors afterwards, so you want everyone who comes into contact with you to see you in as positive a light as possible. 

Be on message from the outset

It’s a good idea to have two or three key points that you want to make about what you have to offer and what you’re looking for. 

For example:

  • I am ready for the challenge of managing a team
  • I combine compliance experience with technical expertise
  • In my career, I’ve developed an extensive digital transformation skill set

These are the three key points that you want your interviewer to remember about you. So try to work them in naturally whenever you can, even in the first few minutes. 

It’s also important to have a ready answer for some of the most common questions that come up early one, such as:

  • Tell me why you want this job
  • What’s your understanding of what this job involves

Fast facts

In summary, these are the top tips to help you start strong in an interview:

  • Be professional from the moment you leave the house
  • Be courteous and friendly to everyone you encounter
  • Make sure your body language shows you’re engaged and enthusiastic
  • Match you dress style to that of the company you’re meeting

To find out how to get yourself prepared for the job interview, read 4 steps to prepare the best you for job interviews.

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