Most people will judge you within the first few seconds of meeting you and this impression will stick by them. Making a first impression is becoming more and more important in the current job market due to the competitiveness of it.
So how do you go about making the best possible first impression? I have outlined 5 key areas to think about before your next interview:
1. Know your agenda (Preparation)
A major aspect of a first impression lies in the confidence you have in yourself and what you have to offer. People will immediately sense whether you have prepared for an interview or are just trying to wing it. That’s why it’s important to know what you want to take away from the meeting and be prepared to accomplish it. Being well prepared will automatically give you a sense of credibility with the interviewer and creates a good first impression.
2. Be on time
Don’t underestimate the importance of being punctual when meeting a potential employer for the first time, being even a few minutes late can send a message that you're not taking the job seriously. Keep an eye on the time, and if for some reason you get behind schedule, let the interviewer know. Just a simple phone call will suffice, and if you're only going to be a few minutes late, there isn’t a need to go into why you are late.
3. Be yourself, don’t be afraid
Your body language says a whole lot on a first meeting. If you're nervous, you're probably going to look more introverted or disinterested than you actually are. Smile, try to keep from fidgeting, and adopt an "open" posture - that means no crossed arms or crossed legs. A nice tilt of the head can also be the difference between looking bored and actually being interested.
Be polite, inquisitive and yet still portray a positive attitude towards the job application. Remember to smile and seem interested in the job. This will mean a great deal to employers during the job interview, as they would rather offer the job to an enthusiastic, positive person rather than someone who is apathetic and lacks any real drive to succeed.
5. The importance of appearance
“Dress for success” - Clothes, make-up, jewellery, watches, shoes etc are definitely taken into account when people make initial judgements. I highly recommend wearing an outfit that you feel comfortable in, but also one which looks professional. I truly believe if you look smart and professional, it will translate into the way you feel!
Although it’s not everything, making a good first impression is very important when it comes to securing the next dream job!