You’ve probably heard it plenty times before – that you don’t want to make a bad first impression when meeting someone new, especially if their opinion of you is important. This’ll never be truer than during a job interview, where a first impression can determine whether or not you get hired into your dream job.
First impressions (whether positive or negative) create something called a ‘halo effect’ where your initial impressions of someone’s qualities influences how you subsequently interpret their future actions as either bad or good (depending on what the impression was). For example, if you had a first good impression of someone, you’re more likely to forgive or excuse any unfavourable behaviour they may display in the future. On the other hand, if your first impression of someone was bad, you may tend to view their future behaviours with skepticism, even if they are acting in a positive way.
With first impressions being so important, sometimes it’s better to rely on a professional to coach you and help you find the right employer – after all, sales recruiters find the best candidates for the best companies.
Arrive Prepared and On-Time
Be prepared for your interview by ensuring that you are knowledgeable about the company that you are interviewing for, as well as the role. Make sure that you bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and any other relevant documentation that your interviewer may want to see.
It’s also extremely important that you show up 15 minutes early to your interview so that you’re showing your interviewers that you are eager, prepared, and taking the interview seriously. You’ll also be able to use this time to mentally prepare yourself for what’s to come, instead of being flustered if you arrived with little to no time to spare.
Another important part of interview preparation is to make sure that you are well-dressed and groomed. Even if the company dresses casually, it’s important that for the interview you are dressing up and looking your best. It shows that you take care of yourself and that you want to put your best out there.
Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Within the first few seconds of meeting your interviewer, there are a number of things your body is doing that will either leave a good or bad impression. If you have to, practice these essentials in order to make sure you have them down the day of:
- Always make eye contact
- Make sure you are smiling, especially when greeting
- Give a firm handshake
- Stand and sit up straight to exude confidence
These nonverbal signals that we communicate through our body apparently make up a large part of how we communicate with people in person. From facial expressions to posture, to the things that people do with their hands, there are a number of things that get said between people – all without saying a thing. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you are communicating only good things when giving off nonverbal signals to your interviewer.
With these tips mastered, you’ll definitely be able to lock down your first impression with your interviewer, and hopefully, create a ‘halo effect’ that will up your chances of getting the job.