Mar 8, 2012
Creating a good impression in a job interview is a key factor in determining a successful outcome. A poor impression almost always leads to failure. So how can a good impression be created, what preparation can be made before an interview and what behaviours and skills can be used during an interview to achieve success?
Here are 10 top tips to creating a good impression:
Find out about the employer, what do they do, recent news and major announcements. Web sites of both the employer, news feeds and any associated professional groups they belong to provide lots of information. Commercial organisations often describe major customers and business partners along with very full descriptions of their goods and services. Information can be discovered about the employer’s objectives, priorities, career opportunities and training for new employees. Additionally details of their management and leadership team can be seen, usually in the “about us” section of their web site.
2. Questions, answering and asking:
Everyone knows that being able to answer questions with good and positive replies in an interview is important. Making sure you understand the question is important; if you are unsure what is being asked, check this by repeating the question back to the interviewer. Keep your answers positive, provide facts from your CV /Resume to support your answer and keep to the question being asked.
What is less well known, but of growing importance, is being able to ask insightful and relevant questions during a job interview. The questions asked by an interviewee are a good indicator of attention to detail, interest in the job and preparation for the interview. Another benefit of asking well formulated questions is that this will prompt the interviewer to talk about the job, the organisation and themselves which provides valuable information. Take time before an interview to write down a list of relevant questions to ask during the interview.
Employers like to be able to check out your claims of success or a character reference by contacting previous employers and sometimes in commercial roles previous customers or business partners. Try and establish a few people who are willing to provide you a reference in these situations.
4. Early arrival for the interview:
Arrive early, to be waiting where the interview is being held 15 minutes early is a good discipline. Make sure you find out precisely where the interview is and how long it will take you to get there allowing for all travel time both to the venue and from the reception area to the interview location /room.
5. Why you want the job:
Think carefully about this, an interviewer likes to hear a credible, strong reason why you want the job and why you want to work for the organisation. Write this down before the interview, include into this reason how some of your skills, knowledge and experience fit the job requirements, be positive and factual but keep it short and concise.
First impressions count, in the first 30 seconds a friendly smile from you creates a good basis for the interview to start, however nervous you may feel, this is important.
7. The look:
Appearance, how you look your dress /clothes are also important in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Most jobs have a “look” a kind of unofficial uniform that people wear to work, the type of clothes they wear and their appearance. Try to research how you should dress and look for the interview, ask for advice from a trusted friend or a recruitment agent.
8. Lifetime learning:
Employers like to hire people who are willing to learn which usually means they are easy to manage and are likely to work well with other existing employees in a team. Being able to show in each job that you have had that you learnt something useful and applied it to your work is the proof of this ability.
9. Listening effectively:
Showing you are listening to the interviewer demonstrates your interest in them and what they are saying to you. There are several techniques to show you are listening for example: by having direct eye contact with the interviewer, nodding when they are speaking, repeating what you just heard and asking if you understood it correctly and asking a question that directly relates to what they just said
10. Calm under pressure:
Keep calm; some interviews are deliberate stress tests to see how you react under pressure, this can happen when the job being applied for has stressful aspects to it. In other interview situations sometimes the interviewer is naturally very confrontational. In either case try to ignore the stress and emotion and deal with the underlying question or issue and answer it factually and calmly.
By Gen Wright