How to make a good first impression!

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It’s a new year and for many people it’s the perfect opportunity to change career or job for a fresh start. With so many people applying for jobs in the new year, competition can get pretty tough, so arm yourself with these essential interview tips and you will find yourself in a good position to outshine the opposition and get the job you want.

  • Dress Appropriately. First impressions matter! Make sure you are dressed smartly and appropriately for the interview. A smart blouse and trousers or shirt or suit will give the right impression, whereas overly casual clothes can put potential employers off. It is important to remember your appearance is the very first thing your potential employer will notice about you, so ensure you are presented well.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Not only does this show you are punctual and possess good time management skills it also allows a little leeway in case you get lost or stuck in traffic. Potential employees who turn up late for an interview very rarely get the job- and that is something worth remembering!
  • Do some research on the company/job you are applying for. By reading up and informing yourself on the values of the company and what is expected of you if you receive the role you will be presenting a very positive image to your potential employer- that you have taken the time and effort to inform yourself and that you are efficient and keen for the position.
  • Practice the night before the interview. By practicing answering questions and perfecting your tone and pitch  you can help prepare yourself to show a poised, positive and professional attitude during the interview. The practice will also help you feel more assured and confident, using flash cards and memorising some key points can also help keep you focused during the interview.
  • Maintain eye contact with the person interviewing you to express yourself more confidently and be aware of your body language and the signals it may be giving off. Keep your back straight, arms neutral and relaxed. Crossing your arms or legs, not making eye contact or slouching can all reflect negatively on you- crossed arms or legs can be taken as signals of disinterest or guardedness and slouching is often perceived as a sign of boredom- it also presents an unprofessional image.
  • Strike the right balance between being friendly and professional. It is important to remember not to be overly friendly with your interviewer. Using affectionate terms such as ‘hun’ and ‘love’ can make the interviewer uncomfortable and present an unprofessional attitude. Being friendly and approachable is admirable but it is essential professional boundaries are maintained during the interview process to give the best impression.
  • Be prepared and have any documents organised and accessible. Digging through your bag when asked to produce a copy of your CV and having to spend minutes rifling through sweet wrappers and junk does not give a good first impression. Not only will you look unorganized but you may well give the impression you are not prepared and not taking the interview seriously.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the first move. While you are waiting for your interview try and strike up some friendly conversation with your potential new co-workers. This will show you are approachable, confident and can network well. When you meet your potential employer offering your hand first for a introductory handshake can make a great first impression- that your confident, self-assured and and appreciate the opportunity.

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