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How to Make a Good Impression for Your Job Interview

Category : job-readiness

Going in for a job interview can be very stressful. Most people become nervous and might struggle to put their best foot forward because of the nerves. If you are worried about an upcoming job interview, you should take some steps to help you make a good impression.

Research the Company

You don’t want to go into your interview blind and this is for many reasons. First of all, you should research the company for your own sake. The more you know about the company, the more you can be prepared and feel confident. Second, if you are knowledgeable about the company this impresses whoever is doing your interview. It shows that you take initiative and that you show an interest in the company. When researching, you should make yourself aware of any news related to the company including their recent successes. If possible, take some time to understand the culture of the company and learn about some important employees. Most importantly, you should be aware of what qualities, skills, and talents the company is looking for. You can evaluate if you are a good fit and make sure to mention how you feel you qualify for the job. 

Prepare Your Resume

As part of your preparation for your job interview, you should prepare and review your resume. Before you even go to your job interview, you should create your resume and either send it to your potential employer or bring it with you depending on their preference. Your resume should include your job experiences, qualifications, and any other relevant information. When crafting your resume, make sure you pick a clear, organized format and tailor it to the job you’re applying for. 

Usually, employers will make themselves familiar with your resume and use it as a guide in interviews. Even though you’ve lived the experiences on your resume, you need to make sure you know them well. This includes knowing specific dates, skills mentioned, and job titles. You should be able to answer questions about specifics on your resume without hesitation. To help you prepare, look over your resume and anticipate what sorts of questions might be asked of you. 

Practice Your Interview

One of the best ways to get over nerves and to feel more prepared is to practice for your interview. Have a colleague, friend, family member, etc. sit down with you and do a practice interview. Have them look over your resume and ask hard questions. This will give you a chance to practice thinking on your feet while also giving you a chance to think through some prepared answers. The more practice you do, the less likely you are to hesitate or get stumped in your interview. 

Dress Well

You begin making your first impression from the moment you walk through the door. This means you need to impress the employer before a word leaves your mouth. The way you dress says a lot about you. It’s best to wear a professional outfit. For men, you might consider a suit or at least a button up shirt and tie. You should avoid wearing more casual looks like sweats. For women, a nice blouse or pantsuit is a good option. A modest denim skirt presents a stylish look while maintaining professional appearance. Dressing well shows that you take care of yourself and that you put forth effort. A professional outfit also lets the employer know that you’re taking this seriously. 

Arrive On Time

Again, you begin making an impression before the interview starts. It doesn’t look well if you are late or rushing to the interview. Arrive early if possible. This gives you some time to take a moment to breathe and relax. Arriving early also ensures that you are there whenever the employer is ready to greet you. In addition to avoiding being late, you should also avoid leaving early or rushing through the interview. Doing so shows the employer that you aren’t taking it seriously and they may not feel that you are dedicated enough to the job. 

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Even if you’re nervous, do your best to act calm and prepared. Show the interviewer that you are confident. You also want to show them your enthusiasm. Smile and practice active listening whenever the employer is explaining elements of the job or discussing important points. When you are actively listening, you should show you’re engaged by nodding, maintaining eye contact, and asking questions when appropriate. Don’t appear distracted.   

Make Your Case

When given the opportunity, make your case for why you think you’re a good fit for the job. The interviewer will ask many questions, but they might not touch on all of your skills. Use the knowledge from your research and explain how you fit the qualifications they are looking for. You can stand out if you also acknowledge skills you have that aren’t specifically asked for but you think might be beneficial to the company. These skills could be anything that could innovate elements of the business or simply make you a better candidate. 

Follow Up

The interview process doesn’t quite end once you’ve walked out of the office. You can continue to make a good impression by following up with the employer after the interview. This can be done through a handwritten note, phone call or an email. In your follow up, be sure to thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed. You can also inform them of anything you forgot to mention and you can correct any miscommunications during the interview. It’s best to send this follow-up within 24 hours of your interview. To make things easier for you, consider picking up a business card or two so you have all their contact info. 

While the interview process is nerve wracking, there is a lot you can do to calm those nerves, prepare yourself, and set a good first impression. The more effort you put into your preparation, the better your interview will go.

Read this next: What You Need to Know Before Entering a Trade Career


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