Hiring managers make snap judgments about potential candidates, and it is very tough to erase a bad one. When a prospective job is on the line, the first 10 seconds are critical to your success. The last thing you want to do is spend the final 59 minutes of an interview trying to overcome a negative first impression. So, if you’re going to be heading to meet a hiring manager to discuss that next big position sometime soon, take these five tips to heart and get a jump start to landing that job by making the right first impression!
- Dress the part. Giving off the wrong impression by looking messy or being unaware of standard office uniform can mean spending your interview trying to overcome your appearance instead of showing off your credentials. And remember, even after you get the job, it’s always a good idea to dress for the job you want next, rather than the job you have. So dress smart!
- Show those pearly whites. Recall those snap judgments we just discussed? Well, it’s a universal truth that people are drawn toward others who are friendly and open. A great smile can help your interviewer form a fast and positive first impression of you, as well as show you are a confident and trustworthy candidate.
- Do your research. The better prepared you are for the interview, the less your nerves will affect your performance. Visit the company’s website, tap your social network to see if you know anyone at the organization, and do as much as you can to learn about both what your future employer represents and what the position you’re gunning for really entails beyond the boilerplate job description. Then, it’ll be far easier to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job.
- Get there 10 minutes early. No one will hire you if you’re late to the interview, or barely on time. Hiring managers will assume the problem is only going to get worse after you’re hired. So show up for the interview 10 minutes early, inform the appropriate person of your arrival and politely wait for your interview to begin.
- Ask smart questions. Hiring managers want to hire someone that is competent and interested in the position. If you cannot ask intelligent questions, it’ll demonstrate that you are not engaged, or worse incapable. And just as importantly, remember to listen and engage in a meaningful conversation with the interviewer as opposed to asking a string of seemingly unrelated questions.