Succeed Job Interview

First Impressions Are Everything: How To Succeed In Your Job Interview

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While you’re getting ready for your interview, think about this: 33 percent of 2,000 hiring managers surveyed by Career Geek said they knew within the first 90 seconds of a job interview whether they would hire the person or not. This means you have about the time it takes to shake hands, sit down and say the first brilliant thing that comes to mind to impress the interviewer. Learn to sell yourself in the first few seconds of meeting someone to get the position you want.

How To Succeed In Your Job Interview

Here are some tips for succeeding in an interview:

Be Fully Prepared

When you get to an interview, you should be 100 percent ready for it, physically and mentally. Do your homework the night before and have all of the company information in the forefront of your mind. Reread your resume or CV until you can practically recite it from memory. Know how you’ll respond to the typical interview questions. Get plenty of rest. When you are this ready, you can walk in confident and relaxed.

If you are fidgeting and shuffling through papers in a waiting area, your nervousness will be noticed. Some hiring managers ask their receptionists how you seemed while waiting. Your calm and confidence will make a good first impression.

The Next Steps… Into The Interview

Your interview starts when you are lead to the interview room. Make eye contact, smile and offer a handshake to the person leading you back, and make relaxed small talk along the way. You are being observed for how well you deal with the stress of walking into an interview—again, calm and confidence will give you high marks.

A Great Impression From The Start

People want to work with people they like. From the moment you walk into the interview room, be that likable person. Smile and make eye contact with everyone there. Seat yourself comfortably, lean forward slightly and prepare yourself to listen. They may start right in with a question such as, “Tell us a little about yourself,” or you may have the chance to make a quick, opening remark. In either case, your first words should be:

  • A note of thanks
  • An acknowledgement that you’re there to learn
  • A statement about what you can bring to the company

For example: “Thank you for taking your time to meet with me today. I’m excited to learn more about your social media manager opening and how my years of designing and managing social network campaigns will be of help to you.”

On your way out, place a business card in front of everyone and offer a handshake. This is a small, but important, act. Use only quality business cards and again, look them in the eye and smile.

First Impressions In A Phone Interview

If your first interview is over the phone, you can still make a good impression. Tips include:

  • Be prepared, relaxed and comfortable.
  • Give positive answers and smile while you talk.
  • Stand up and walk around while talking.
  • Do not interrupt the interviewer.

Even though you can’t see the interviewer, these actions will convey calmness and confidence over the phone. Now go get ‘em, killer. You got this.


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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ryan Harrison

Ryan recently graduated with a Master's in Business Administration and plans to capitalize on the opportunities out there for entrepreneurs. These days he continues to teach career leadership classes from resume development, to crafting cover letters, to helping individuals build and maintain strong professional confidence.

2 comments

  1. To me the essential part of doing an interview well is to prepare properly. Use a tool like PowerPoint or Accredible.com to aggregate your story and display it well. I find that bringing these out in an interview where appropriate can really help you stand out and seem prepared. Doing this beforehand also helps you to organise your thoughts and have your experience fresh in your mind.

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