You’ve successfully landed the job interview. Now is the time to prepare for the first job interview and make a great first impression. The secret to making a great first impression doesn’t mean changing your entire interview process. The difference between a bad first interview and a great first interview is five simple tips that lead to a lasting impression.
Table of contents
What Hiring Managers are looking for
The Hiring Manager is responsible for determining hard and soft skills, qualifications, and cultural fit. The most important thing a Hiring Manager is looking for, is how you will make their company better. Meeting all questions with enthusiasm, elaborating on how you can help their business, and maintaining great body language all lead to your ability to make the business better. Following these five tips will help you make a great first impression and establish a genuine connection with the interviewer.
5 ways to make a great first impression
Making a great first impression can be accomplished by following some simple and strategic steps. Implement all five tips to make a great first impression.
- Make eye contact
- Pay attention to body language
- Leave your worries at the door
- Tell them ‘Why’
- Be Authentic
Make eye contact
Studies have shown that the key to genuine human connection is direct eye contact. This is a subtle way to come across as genuine, open, honest, and dependable. Maintaining eye contact throughout the interview shows that you are interested and appreciate the employer’s time.
According to a recent survey, a lack of eye contact can lead to signs of deceit and trust issues. While it can seem unfair and often inaccurate, this is an easy point against a candidate when applying for a job. Sometimes candidates look away when recalling a situation or constructing a thought.
If you find yourself looking away during the interview, gradually shift your attention back to the employer, then gauge their body language to see how your answer was evaluated.
Pay attention to body language
According to UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian, 55% of messages processed by the brain are based on body language. This means that more than half of what you say as a first impression isn’t about the words at all.
To demonstrate great body language simply means to appear open and honest while remaining attentive to the interviewer. Making eye contact as mentioned above it extremely important. You should also make sure your body is positioned toward the interviewer which shows you are engaged with the topic at hand.
You should also make sure to avoid any negative body language. Make sure your arms are not crossed as this shows that you are closed off. Avoid looking away as this shows signs of trust issues. Blinking too often (more than 70 times per minute) can indicate that you are stressed and unsure of the correct answer.
The most important thing to remember in an interview is that they’re hiring to make someone’s life easier. The best thing you can do is ease concerns, worry or skepticism simply by demonstrating exceptional body language.
Leave your worries at the door
Things tend to go wrong on the day of the first interview. Perhaps you got cut off in traffic, missed your alarm or received some bad news. To make a great first impression it is important to take all negative or reactive feelings and leave them at the door.
No matter what events conspired against the day of your interview, the minute you enter the interview you should be positive, enthusiastic, and relaxed. Your job is to make the interview go smoothly and to demonstrate how you will help the business grow.
Signs of negativity, conflict or pessimism all show up as warning signs of your future performance. The interviewer will pick up on these signs and quickly conclude that you are not right for the position. Simply leave all baggage behind when you enter the room and meet all situations with positivity.
Tell them ‘Why’
The interview might feel like an informal conversation, but the interviewer doesn’t know that you’ve rehearsed the answers to make a great first impression. Think of every question as a chance to demonstrate your ability to exceed expectations in this role. Rather than simply answering the question asked, take it a step further. Tell the interviewer why the answer leads to you being a qualified candidate. This is a unique formula of “cause” and “effect”. The formula will also enable you to form concise answers in as little as two sentences.
As cliché as it may sound, just be yourself. People want to make meaningful connections, and we’re shockingly good at gauging authenticity. A lack of authenticity leads to a feeling that you will not bring anything new to the table. When the interviewer feels like you’re selling rather than telling, it leads to a lack of trust and lack of engagement.
So how do you combat this? Simply be yourself. Allow your eyes to light up when a question genuinely interests you. Answer your questions with charisma and enthusiasm. If the role is a good fit and you’ve rehearsed for the top interview questions this point should be the easiest to accomplish to make a great first impression.
How to get more job interviews
Following these 5 tips is sure to make a great first impression at the initial interview. If you’re struggling to get job interviews, there are many small changes you can make to format your resume for success. Once your resume is ready for the job, apply to the position.