I always say getting an interview is half the battle. When I ask someone to come in for an interview, I am telling that person that they have a great shot of landing the job offer. I just need to confirm it by meeting them in person and asking them a few questions to validate my initial assessment.
The interview will be the determining factor on whether I want to hire the job seeker or not. So it is crucial that you learn how to stack the odds in your favor. Below are some of the things that I pay attention to when meeting the interviewee for the first time.
1. Be prepared
Never go into an interview without preparing for it. Don’t try to ‘wing’ the interview. It will not work. I will know right away if you don’t come prepared by asking you a few simple questions. You need to read my article on how to prepare for an interview.
2. Be on time
Don’t be late for the interview. If you are late, you will make a very bad impression in the minds of most interviewers. Hiring managers are usually very busy. We have back-to-back meetings and if you are late, your interview will be cut short or cancelled. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Also, don’t show up too early.
3. Dress appropriately
Always err on the formal and conservative side when dressing for the interview even if it is a casual work environment. The way you dress DOES make a lasting impression on the mind of the interviewer. This has been proven in countless studies. I am not saying you need to put on a suit but do come looking professional.
4. Be enthusiastic
During the interview, you need to be enthusiastic and positive. That means you need to smile and give a firm handshake when we meet for the first time. I know this seems like an obvious tip but I have seen so many gloomy interviewees. This is your moment to shine and to tell me why I should hire you. I need to get a positive vibe that you will be a good fit in our company and that you will be eager to hit the ground running. If you don’t show that you want the job, I will give it to someone else that it more enthusiastic about it.
5. Ask good questions
When you ask good questions, it shows that you have been paying attention during the interview and that you came prepared. It will also show that you are a thoughtful person. A big mistake is not asking any questions at all. If you don’t ask any questions during the interview, you are telling me that you are not interested in this job. Asking good questions will leave a positive impression in the mind of the interviewer.
6. Be yourself and relax
I know this can be very hard to do at the interview but you will score big points if you can pull it off. When you are relaxed and comfortable during the interview, it will be smooth for you and me. The interview will be more conversational instead of being an interrogation. When you are relaxed, you will be able to think clearly, listen better and be a better speaker. You want to convey confidence and interest during the interview.