Join Valerie Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a first impression, part of Acing Your Interview (2013).
Impressions are set within the first few minutes of the interview, so it is important to arrive with confidence and a friendly manner. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you're wearing. It is key that they see you as a potential employee, so dressing the part is important. This will mean different things for different organizations. Be sure to note their dress code and dress to it, or slightly above it. Being on time is essential. Don't be too late and don't be too early.
This can put the interviewer in an uncomfortable position. You should show up 5-10 minutes early. If you do arrive earlier than this, find a place to wait. As you are arriving, be nice to everyone you encounter; receptionists and administrative assistants often play a significant role in the interviewing process and provide feedback to the people interviewing you. When you finally meet your interviewer, greet them enthusiastically and extend your hand to give a firm handshake. Much of the interviewer's impression of you is determined by the rapport or chemistry that you establish.
Use the research you've done to start small talk. Be prepared with a copy of your resume. You should be ready to offer it in case the interviewer has misplaced their copy. As you go through the interview process, you may find that there are uncomfortable situations that you'll have to navigate. In the next movie, we'll cover some of these and how to handle them.
- Understanding interview formats
- Anticipating questions and preparing answers
- Researching potential employers
- Establishing good body language in the interview
- Reviewing your performance
- Answering questions using the Situation-Action-Result method
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Where can I learn more about communication skills?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting communication skills on lynda.com.
Q: This course was updated on 6/05/2013. What changed?
A: We added new videos on handling tricky and possibly illegal interview questions, what your body language says about you, and how to answer questions with the SAR (Situation-Action-Result) method.