As important as it is to be memorable in your job interview, the old cliché is true – you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Employers and recruiting firms pay attention to much more than what they read on your resume in the course of personnel staffing. As nerve racking as it may sound, you are in the spotlight the moment you walk in the door. Not only will your interviewers compare their own notes but they will ask the people you interacted with their impressions of you as well. Were you courteous towards the receptionist? Did you exchange pleasantries with someone in the elevator who happened to be in the department?
Often, we go into interviews focused and determined with at least some spike in adrenaline. While this may serve well when you’re in your interview itself, it is important to remain open while you are in the building. Every interaction you have is another first impression of you for someone who may soon be a colleague of yours. It does not hurt to treat them as such even while interviewing. Here are some tips and ideas that will get you off to the right foot in a job interview.
This might be so painfully obvious that you are rolling your eyes at the thought, but the importance of being on time to your interview cannot be understated. It’s your interview but it is their time. Don’t walk in the door at the exact minute your job interview is set to begin, arrive five to ten minutes early. This should give you a moment to take care of any final touches if needed and it is far better for you to wait a few moments for your interviewer than for them to wait on you at all. This also gives you an opportunity to feel the space and envision working there. This can be just the confidence boost you need as your interview begins.
You put all of the effort into applying and getting a job interview, don’t squander your opportunity by walking in unprepared. If you are speaking to a recruiting firm, get some background on them. Know their reputation and specialty before you meet with them. Research the company you are applying for. If you’ve already done some research – do a little more.
Ask the name of your interviewer and if there are any materials they would like you to provide either before or during the interview. Print off a few extra copies of your resume to have on hand even if you have already shared it digitally. If you are concerned about pestering with all of these pre-interview questions – don’t be. Being unprepared for your job interview (even unintentionally) is more likely to make your interviewer feel as though they wasted their time than volleying a few emails back and forth.
This might be the most difficult aspect of a job interview but it is so important to be yourself. It’s understandable to be nervous and guarded, you wouldn’t want to say something that could hurt your chances of getting the position. But if you fail to be yourself, you are doing both parties a disservice. Your interviewer deserves to know if you are the solution to their personnel staffing needs. You deserve to get a sense of whether your personality is going to fit within the organization. As difficult as it may be, the only way each side will be able to make those determinations is if you present yourself authentically. Of course you need to balance this with the necessary professionalism but let your true self shine through. If you’re the right fit on paper, this will help get them excited about bringing you on board.
Simple, But Important
Being on-time, prepared and authentic may be very simple pieces of advice but their importance in helping you make a great first impression during your job interview should not be overlooked. Any number of small slip-ups can cause an organization to lose interest in you as a candidate so you must always put your best foot forward.
Accountability Resources is the recruiting firm to trust in fulfilling your personnel staffing needs. From application to the final round of interviews, we offer solutions for both job seekers and employers alike. Based in Austin, TX – Accountability Resources specializes in Accounting and Finance and with 130 years of combined experience has the track record as proof of our consistent ability to match excellent candidates to amazing opportunities. Contact us today if you are searching for the next chapter in your career.