Whether it be in business, or life in general first impressions are vitally important. It will be how you’re remembered and how the story of you is re-told to another. When someone discusses you with another, given the choice how would you choose to be described? Well presented, humorous, polite, good mannered, intelligent, well spoken. Or… lethargic, un-kept, ill mannered, unhelpful, unintelligent? Luckily enough you do have that choice, we all do. The choice is yours should you wish to accept it. These are not difficult, expensive or time consuming tasks to complete, however as aforementioned they will contribute significantly to any desired outcome.
When arriving for a job interview be prepared, arrive early and know where you are going. By allowing yourself time you are not adding additional stress, if you feel rushed before your interview it will definitely carry into it. Introduce yourself and remember people watch the way you dress, the way you speak and the way you carry yourself. Be confident, but not over confident. There is a very fine line here. Always remember, there is a good chance you are not the only person being interviewed and you may well be rated compared to the way other candidates introduce themselves. First impressions scores you early points.
When entering the interview remember… This is where the first impression will count more than ever. Be calm, hold eye contact and offer a firm handshake. (You’re not looking to crush your interviewers hand here, but the initial handshake is a sign of confidence). Wait until you are asked to be seated, then you are ready, listen carefully to the questions and pay attention. Don’t try and answer the question before it has finished being asked. Take your time, remember to breath and if needed ask for the question to be repeated. This can afford you additional time to think and relate your answers to the questions and the company where possible. Because as we all know, a vital part of your preparation is researching the company and being knowledgeable in the field. Ask questions, be original and aim to understand the business and culture.
After your interview remember, Fortune is in the follow up. Send an email to thank the interviewer for their time. If sometime passes and you haven’t heard, do not give up. Send a follow up email or make a phone call. Sometimes there are difficult decisions to be made, they take time it doesn’t necessarily mean bad news.
The morale of the story being, first impressions are easy lasting impressions are what will make the difference.
You will never get a second chance to make a first impression – Will Rogers.