If you have been called in for a job interview, remember that the first few minutes is important. You want to stand out from other applicants and you can do that by making a positive impression right away. Below are practical tips on how to make that first 5 minutes work to your advantage:
Dress professionally but don’t overdress. You don’t want the hiring personnel to feel that you have topped him/her. Choose simple, decent and appropriate attire. A coat and tie is fine only if you are applying for a managerial position.
Be there on time. A late applicant sends out the impression of a lazy, inconsiderate and unprofessional worker. Getting stuck in traffic is not a valid reason for not showing up on time, especially for a job interview. Unless it is a real emergency, don’t let anything keep you from arriving on time.
Do research about the company and the job. Do your homework even before submitting your resume to the company. Knowing your facts show your initiative to learn, your concern for the company and genuine interest to get hired.
Exude confidence. Being nervous is understandable but there’s no need to make it obvious. When the hiring personnel asks, “How are you today?” you can say, “I’m great and been looking forward to this interview” instead of saying “I’m a little nervous”. You want to be positive all the time.
Be nice to the receptionist. Keep in mind that you are being assessed the moment you stepped in the office. Do not assume that the receptionist will not care about your actions. He/she can make a spontaneous comment about you which can affect the hiring officer’s perception of you.
Pose a sensible question. In a job interview, you will be asked if you have questions. Instead of just shaking your head, take it as the opportunity to show more positive things about you. Ask something relevant to the company or to the job you are seeking. However, don’t ask about the company’s policy on paid vacations.
Tell something impressive and true. Be sure to share an accomplishment that you have recently done. It may be for the recent company you worked with or during the period while you are looking for employment.
Don’t Slack. Different interviewers have varying styles in conducting job interviews. Some are more formal than the others. Some may seem more friendly and casual. However, just because your interviewer is relaxed does not mean you should follow suit. Do not slump in your seat, yank your feet, laugh too loud or use slang words in the conversations. You are still being evaluated so be professional at all times.