Imagine you have an interview tomorrow. This is your first interview with the company. You submitted your CV and an application and now you have been invited for an interview.
So, how do you impress your interviewer(s)? Here are some tips to help you stand out at your first interview.
Do your research: Do your homework about the company, the role you are interviewing for and if possible, your interviews. Learn about the company culture, the products and so on. Find their areas of pain. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be for you to answer questions intelligently. This creates a good impression of you because it shows that you are forward thinking and that you are actually interested in the company. Look employees in the company (or from a different company) who have a similar position title to see what kinds of projects they’ve carried out in the role and help you to have a better understanding of what your responsibilities will be. If possible, ask them questions about their job.
Practice answers to questions: this also involves research. Find out the most common and weirdest possible interview questions from people who have interviewed with the company if possible. Practice your responses to those questions and practice some more. Do NOT cram your responses. Find a friend, preferably someone who has experience interviewing people for jobs, to practice with you.
Dress well and be on time: To create a good first impression, arrive early, but not too early – at most 15 minutes before your interview time. It is also important to dress appropriately. Find out the appropriate dress code for the organisation. Even if they have a casual dress code, dress up a bit. Do not show up to your interview in jeans and a tee shirt.
Be enthusiastic: Bring a positive attitude to your interview. People tend to move away from someone who has a negative presence or attitude or someone who seems like they do not want to be at the interview. You can convey enthusiasm through great posture and interview body language. Make sure you’re smiling and engaging with your interviewer. An enthusiastic attitude at the interview could be interpreted to show that you are enthusiastic about the job and will carry over this attitude into doing your duties.
Ask questions: When interviewing for a new position, it‘s important that you have questions to ask the interviewer. An interview is a two way street. Ask concise and relevant questions about the company and the job to show that you actually are interested in the job and the organisation. Ask questions such as: What did you like most about the person who previously held this position? What do you consider to be the ideal background for the position? What are some of the significant challenges? Do you have any concerns that I need to clear up in order to be the top candidate?
Say thank you: at the end of the interview, thank the interviewers in person for taking the time to talk to you about the position. After this, send a thank you note – via email probably – and reiterate why you would be an asset to the company.
By following this tips, you are sure to make a great first impression from the moment you walk through the door till the end of your interview.