Make A Great First Impression At Your Interview

15/09/14

In an interview scenario first impressions could either make or break your chances of securing an internship. The very moment you step foot in your interviewer’s office, before you’ve uttered a single word or have even had a chance to close the door behind you, an opinion of you has already been formed.

Studies have found that it takes only 7 seconds to form a judgement. This means that in an interview scenario you need to act quickly to make a positive first impression.
 

Here are a few things you can do to nail the interview and be remembered in those crucial seven seconds: 

1. Smile

Going into an interview shouldn’t feel like you’re stepping onto a battlefield. It’s important to show you are approachable, confident, friendly, and genuinely want to meet the interviewer. The best way to do that is through a simple smile.

Smiling in an interview has a two-pronged effect. Firstly, it sends signals to the brain reinforcing feelings of pleasure and happiness, which creates a positive mood in the room. Secondly, we tend to subconsciously mimic the emotions of those standing in front of us. When you are smiling, your interviewer will smile back at you. So crack that smile and let those pearly whites shine. It could play a key role in helping you get the role.

2. Hand shake

Business etiquette 101 – have a firm, personable hand shake that shows you are keen and confident. No one enjoys holding a limp, lazy, sweaty hand that is tantamount to a yawn in a physics classroom. Your handshake should involve a strong grip, a smile, and eye contact. This will show your interviewer you are confident and mean business.

3. Introductions

When you shake your interviewers hand, it is polite to say “Hi, I’m Sarah”. They will then introduce themselves, and you can begin to break the ice by replying with “Great to meet you” which leaves an opening to continue on with some small talk.

4. Speak clearly and speak with a purpose

There is little point in arguing you are the right fit for a company if the interviewer cannot understand a word you are saying. This is why it is important to prepare for an interview. Knowing your responses and rehearsing your examples will alleviate any mumbling that comes from not being confident. Avoid giggling in an interview and using filler words such as ‘umm’ and ‘like’ and always take a few seconds to think about what the interviewer is actually asking of you before you launch into your response.

5. Maintain eye contact

People perceive you as nervous or rude when you don’t make eye contact. To make your first impression count, ensure you lock eyes with your interviewer and hold their gaze for three seconds at a time.

6. Look the part

Your appearance is the first thing people see when you walk into a room. Ensure you look smart and are always in business attire (even if the company has a casual dress code). Being overdressed is better than being underdressed – this also demonstrates that you have an understanding of business etiquette, that you are taking the interview seriously and that you are eager to make a good impression.

As the old saying goes – you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The above 6 pointers will help communicate to your interviewer that you are confident and can add some serious value to their company. Above anything else, let your personality show and enjoy your interview.

Sometimes if you are consumed with nerves, it is hard to remember everything that your Placement Consultant, mentor or what you have read has told you to do. Don’t panic and try and stay calm. Our Placement Consultants are on hand to help guide you through the interview experience and get you noticed.

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