We all know first impressions are formed within 30 seconds and it is very simple to make yours a good one.
Be in a good mood
I once hired someone on the strength of just their handshake, smile and smart appearance when we met in reception.
The young lady breezed in with equal parts confidence and enthusiasm. She was under 5ft but standing tall with her bright red suit (it was the ‘90s) and she wore an equally red, warm smile. As I guided her to the meeting room I thought she would have had do everything wrong now to stop me hiring her. I abosolutely knew from the first moment in reception that she would be an asset to my team.
I tell this story at almost every session I run on interviews or making a good first impression!
You don’t have to wear red – just whatever you feel comfortable and confident in - but do smile broadly and use the interviewers name. Several times. It is said there is no sweeter sound to anyone than their name.
Act like you’re meeting a good friend and give a strong handshake. Stand tall and proud and walk in like you’ve already got the gig and will fit right in.
Check your adornments
Yes dress appropriately but never informally. No matter how informal the staff are, dressing smart shows you have respect for the organisation. It doesn’t matter that that the interviewer is wearing jeans and that you will never need to dress when you get the job, just let them know how much you care about it.
Of course keep accessories and fragrance to a minimum but do look groomed. In any case knowing you look good sure makes you feel good!
Set your intent
Be interested and interesting. Before you go in, ensure your online image says what you want it to say. Your dream employer will most likely have researched you before offering you an interview and they may well continue to do so until your interview and beyond.
Social media – whatever your favourite platform - is an excellent way of controlling the image that you want by commenting, offering opinions and sharing articles on the issues that matter to you.
Do take all the communication with your potential employer as an opportunity to emphasise how keen you are on this role. I.e. a ‘looking forward to meet you all email before the interview’ confirms your intentions and professionalism.
Good luck and remember you are the expert on ‘you’!