First impressions are everything. They can set the tone for all your future interactions, so you really don’t want to mess it up. While an employer will have some judgments about you from your application, the interview is where those opinions will solidify. How you come across at an interview could mean the difference between getting the job and being passed over for someone else. This is your first and possibly only chance to impress your employer, so presenting yourself in a positive light should be a major priority.
Here are some top tips for how to present yourself at an interview to give you the best chance of getting the job.
Dress smart- An interview is a formal setting, so it’s only natural that you’re expected to wear formal clothes. If you walk into an interview wearing jeans and trainers you’ll give the impression of unprofessionalism not suited to a workplace environment. Even if you don’t go as far as a blazer, just wearing a shirt with some smart trousers or a skirt and sensible shoes will help you massively.
Turn off your phone- There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of an interview and having your phone go off. Worse, if it goes off and you check it. Unless it’s an emergency or special situation, at that moment the interview should be your main priority. Phones can be a distraction and make the interviewer think you’re not fully committed. Make sure it’s off, or at the very least on silent, and out of sight.
Remember to greet them- Making some polite small talk and asking interviewers their names can seem like basic etiquette, but could slip your mind if you’re nervous in an interview setting. Remember that a warm smile and a handshake can help get the interview off to the right start. It’ll help you seem friendly and confident, two desirable qualities in a potential employee.
Know the company- While the interviewer probably isn’t going to quiz you on the history of the company you’re applying for, it always helps to be prepared. It will make you look much better if you have some pre-researched knowledge that you can drop into conversation. Not only does it make you seem keen for the role you’re applying for, it also gives the impression that you are someone who will go the extra mile for their work.
Be enthusiastic- Employers won’t want to hire someone who doesn’t seem interested and fully committed to the job. Things like having thoughtful questions about the role you’re applying for to ask at the end of the interview will make you seem eager, and give the impression you’ve put thought into the role.
Have the right attitude- Remember, your interviewers are people too. They are potentially going to be working with you, and if you seem stand-off-ish and rude, that isn’t going to make them want to work with you. It’s the little things that can help here; keep your body language open, make eye contact, and try to smile to help you seem friendly.