Why first impressions count & how to make a good one!
So, they say it’s common knowledge that you decide your first impressions on someone within 7 seconds of meeting them; and as we know – this can make or break a situation! So much so that this is crucial to your success within a role.
We interview people day in, day out, so we completely understand that it can be a hugely nerve-wracking process. That’s without any added stress of the situations that are out of your control, (we all know that life can take over sometimes!) therefore, it’s important to make the best impression with the things that are within your control!
As we know a thing or two about this, we have structured a short list of things that are helpful to making a good first impression to your potential employer!
I was always told, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Before you even open your mouth in an interview, people will form an opinion on the way you are dressed, so make it a good one! If you are presenting yourself in an untidy and scruffy way, you may be seen as unorganised or lazy. Always try and investigate the company you are applying to – what is their dress code? If you are going for a production, warehouse, or more physical role, it’s safe to dress down slightly more; Whereas if you have applied for a management or more corporate role, it’s more than likely that business dress is expected.
Try not to be late!
Timing is imperative! You want to show that you are committed and dedicated to your new potential role, right? So please try to be on time! We understand, things do happen, and it’s not always possible to be running to a strict schedule. But if you are running behind, remember it’s always better to let us know, than say nothing at all. Better yet – Be early! 10/15 minutes normally does the trick! It’s better for you to be waiting, than your hiring manager! In addition to this, this may give you time to fill in any outstanding documents from your interviewer. Poor time keeping can show a lack of respect and interest for the organisation. In the past, this has led to a candidate being dismissed from the position before they have had chance to interview!
Again, these might seem like simple things to be advising, but you should never turn up to an interview unprepared! If you’re showing up unprepared, what will that tell your potential employer? To me, that would say that if you couldn’t be bothered to prepare for the interview, will this also show a lack of effort within your work? There is usually a list of questions that are widely used between hiring managers, research these! Prepare your answers and know what you’re going to say.
Quite often you will have previous experience that will relate to the appropriate questions (see our post – 10 questions recruiters love to ask here https://permanent-recruitment-solutions.co.uk/2022/03/21/10-questions-recruiters-love-to-ask-and-why-we-ask-them/). The aim of the game is to set yourself apart from the other candidates, if you can execute confident and thought-out responses, you will give yourself an advantage over the other candidates.
Know what you’re talking about!
Now, I get it, when going through a recruitment agency, you don’t always know the company name, (we do this for data protection purposes) but you do know what job you’ve applied for! So read the job description. If it’s something you’ve done before, great, if not, look at the requirements. Make sure you’re applying for jobs within your skill set. If you want to aim higher, and throw yourself into an industry you’ve not experienced before, that’s great, but be sure to mention how you’re going to go about learning those new skills, what extra training are you going to do? What do you have to bring to the table, that the other candidates don’t?
Prepare questions so you have something to ask your interviewer – this will show good intentions and interest. Also, be prepared for something to go wrong, this is often unavoidable, we all know that life can take over and some things just happen. Preparing for this will show your ability to overcome difficult situations and how you deal with unexpected occurrences. They want to know that you can adapt to situations and use your initiative.
Now, we don’t know everything, and as we said, every interview will be different. Each hiring manager will have a different style and different questions. But following these simple snippets, you’ll be on the road to success.