How to make a lasting impression in an interview
Whether you are returning to the workforce or seeking a new opportunity, interviews can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. An interviewer is going to make initial assumptions of your character based on the way you conduct yourself. Below are our top 5 tips to ensure that you make a lasting impression.
1. Arrive on time and dress the part
Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10 – 15 minutes early. This shows the employer straight away that you are reliable and punctual. Map out your route to the interview location so that you can allow enough time for arrival and to secure parking nearby if required.
Dress for the job that you want. If the organisation is corporate, suit up. If they are more casual consider smart casual. If you are unsure research the company further and learn what the appropriate attire is along with the company culture.
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” There is no bigger truth when preparing for an interview.
Research the company: It is important that you use all sources of information at your disposal. For example; Company website, Facebook, LinkedIn, press releases and annual reports. You want to know as much detail about the company as possible including the company culture, their missions and core values, senior leadership team and products and /or services offered.
Review the job description to establish a solid understanding of the requirements and what is involved. Know your CV and articulate your strengths, abilities and achievements and how they relate to the selection criteria.
Research common interview questions and the different types of interviews: Although you can never be 100% sure of the types of questions you will be asked, it is best to prepare a list and practice with a friend. This way you will feel more confident ahead of the interview.
3. Use your manners and show positive body language
Confidence radiates and first impressions count. The wrong body language and certain mannerisms before, during and after the interview can send the wrong signal and damage how you’re perceived. Shaking hands firmly upon introduction, making eye contact, smiling, correct body posture – no slumping in the chair, actively listening and responding to questions, withholding restless habits and remaining professional at all times will see you do well.
4. Ask the employer questions
When you ask the employer questions it shows that you have done your research and that you are in fact interested in working for the company. Our top 5 questions to ask at an interviewer are:
- How would you describe the culture of the company?
- What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to have to excel in this role?
- What are your expectations for this role within the first 6 months?
- How will my success and performance be measured?
- What are the next steps in the interview process
5. Follow up
After the interview we also recommend that you follow up with the hiring manager. Along with expressing your appreciation of their time, a thankyou email is also a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the role and provide any important details that may not have come through during the interview. It also reminds the hiring manager who you are and you are therefore forefront in their mind.
If you feel you may need interview coaching explore our Support Services Directory for skilled professionals who can support you to ensure you put your best foot forward.