Tips for a Great First Impression

John Krautzel
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Employers spend a significant amount of time scanning resumes, cover letters and applications prior to a job interview, and from the moment you walk into a prospective employer's lobby, you are being evaluated. Preparation is essential for candidates. Learn how to nail the interview, make a positive impression from the start and land a job offer for the position you desire.

1. Research the Company

Your knowledge of the firm must be spot on before you attend a job interview. Spend time during your job search connecting with current employees on social media sites, such as Twitter or LinkedIn, to learn more about the company's culture and work environment. Research the firm's mission, product and service line and accomplishments in the industry. Use this information during your first meeting with a prospective employer to show that you are eager, prepared and interested in the company's operations. Candidates who are knowledgeable about the firm often make a positive first impression.

2. Evaluate Your Body Language

How you communicate verbally during the job interview matters. Pay close attention to your nonverbal communication, too. While rehearsing for the interview, position yourself in front of a mirror or practice with a professional or mentor to identify any nonverbal cues that could be off-putting to an employer. Refrain from wearing clothing or jewelry that may cause you to fidget and pay attention to how you position your hands when talking. Make frequent eye contact to showcase your confidence, and smooth away any stray hairs that fall into your face well before the meeting.

3. Practice Interview Questions

A key part of any job interview is the question and answer portion. Prepare for meeting with a hiring manager by researching common interview questions, and formulate a general idea of how you want to respond. Many employers begin that first meeting with "Tell me about yourself." Put together a 30-second elevator pitch that highlights your skills and experience relevant to the open position. Detail your strengths right away and speak with confidence. During your research, locate questions that are a bit unorthodox, such as "Who is your favorite superhero and why?" so that you can prepare to answer just about any type of question.

4. Formulate Questions

Employers expect you to ask questions toward the end of the job interview. Avoid ending the meeting without inquiring about the company's culture, work environment or operations. Use your research to formulate a few questions to portray that you are invested in this opportunity and willing to take the extra time to learn about your potential future workplace.

Put your best foot forward during the job interview by spending ample time preparing for the opportunity. Show employers that you are diligent, knowledgeable, skilled and professional by showcasing your knowledge of the firm and industry to make a positive impression.


Photo Courtesy of Prince Leaflet Distribution at Flickr.com

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  • Machidi I.
    Machidi I.

    Good job

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