You only have one chance to make a good impression so how do you stand out from the crowd? Follow these five steps and put your best foot forward in a job interview.
Be nice to the receptionist
The receptionist of a company is often the gatekeeper and privy to a company’s secrets. Greet the receptionist with a warm smile and engage them with small talk but not enough to distract them from their tasks or be annoying. Treat everyone with equal courtesy as you don’t know who has influence in the decision making process. More often than not particularly if it is a small to medium sized company, the interviewer will ask the receptionist their first impressions of the people who are interviewing for the job.
Don’t speak badly of your last employer
A standard interview question is why you left your last job. In no circumstance, should you speak badly of your last employer or focus solely on remuneration. Good answers to these questions include a lack of career progression, lack of challenges or responsibility, excessive travelling time, change of city, a career change or a redundancy. An interview must always be positive. If you have left your job in less than salubrious circumstances, think of an answer to this question before the interview and practice your response so it is clear in your mind.
Do your research
Make sure you look at the company’s website, read their media releases, follow them on Twitter or add their Facebook page and look on the internet for any recent articles that have been written about the company. Demonstrate that you have knowledge about their business or industry, you have done your research and you are enthusiastic about the prospect of working for their company. This alone could set you aside from the less prepared clients.
Ask well thought out questions
Ask questions that show you have done your research and you have listened throughout the interview. Employers don’t want to be asked stock standard questions where the answers were already outlined on the job advertisement, easily found by looking at their website or were answered in the interview. If the interviewer mentions a new client or project in the interview, ask a question about the project that relates to your job description. Asking well researched questions is a good opportunity to show you have researched the company and you are interested in working for them.
Show your personality
Interviewers want to be wowed by someone who has character and charisma not someone who is robotic and quoting their mission statement, facts and figures from their website. At the end of the day, would you want to be hired by a company that didn’t appreciate your sense of humour or your quirks? Always remember to be positive and enthusiastic with a nothing is too hard or too much trouble attitude.
It’s essential to make a good first impression but always remember that you’re interviewing the person at the company as much as they are interviewing you. The corporate culture is sometimes the determining factor of whether you will be happy in a job and sometimes more important than the nature of the role itself.