Interview First Impressions

Interview First Impressions

 

I recently asked a friend what her biggest fear was and not surprisingly her response was high altitudes, reptiles and interviews…not necessarily in that order!  It got me thinking that I too used to have many sleepless nights prior to an interview day.  They say with practice comes perfection and I truly believe this is the case with interviews.  The more interviews you go for the better you just get at them.  However how can you ensure you have success at a much earlier stage?

First and foremost CONFDENCE is key…the fact that you have been invited for an interview is testament enough that you have the required qualifications and experience at least on paper.  You have piqued their interest so this should give you confidence and a smile when you walk in that interview room at the very least.

RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH Go through the companies website in detail, understand what they do, look up any recent news articles related to the organisation and make sure you know their competitors and industry well.  Interviews typically follow a format of job specific questions, which are related to your former work experience; and competency based questions which focus on your leadership, team building, communication skills etc. So make sure you have prepared answers for these predictable questions.

KNOW YOUR BODY LANGUAGE The right posture, eye contact and handshake can communicate an unspoken level of confidence and poise about you.  So make sure you avoid slouching, sweaty or long handshakes and unnecessary fidgeting.

LOOK THE PART   A well groomed and attired person will not go unnoticed.  Make sure your hair is tidy, you are clean shaved and your wearing just the right amount of makeup with your nails  perfectly manicured.  Darker colours are considered to be more authoritative thus are highly recommended for interview occasions.  Always make sure your clothes are well-ironed, clean, fit well and most importantly are appropriate for the occasion.

MIND YOUR MANNERS Arriving 10-15 minutes prior to the designated time will allow you to take in the environment and give you time to mentally prepare yourself for the interview.  Ensure your mobile phone is turned on silent and you remember the names of all your interviewers.  Sending a thank you email within the first 24 hours is always considered to be a courteous sign however ensure it is not followed by a barrage of emails/phone calls to follow up on the outcome of your interview; a pestering candidate is not looked upon favourably.

WHAT IS YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE?  Does your CV match your LinkedIn profile? Are your facebook account settings controlled?  What have you been tweeting about?  In a recent study, 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on their social media profile and 90% of recruiters and managers use social media platforms for recruitment*.  So its time for you to think about what type of a social media image you have.

 

*Based on a study of 300 participants done by Reppler, a social media monitoring service.

 

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