As someone wise once said “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, but does this matter when going for an interview?
I can only draw on my own experiences, I remember interviewing someone once and he turned up in cutoff jeans, a stripy t-shirt and deck shoes. Had he been about to go punting in Cambridge, he’d have looked delightful. However, as he walked into the interview my first impression of him was, he really hasn’t bothered to research the company I was working for, they had a far more formal dress policy. I figured if he hadn’t bothered to do some research, he probably wasn’t overly bothered about working for us anyway. As it happens, he was far from the best candidate for the job and I think if he was honest, he didn’t really want it anyway!
So, what can damage a first impression?
- Your Outfit.
- You might on a day to day basis dress casually and have think that wandering into an interview as you would normally dress is promoting a “this is me” attitude, but you want to be remembered for the right reasons.
- Even if the company does have a casual dress policy, attend the interview in smart dress.
- There are ways that you can still look smart, but reflect your personality!
- Your Attitude.
- Try and avoid “the Wolf of Wall Street” effect, yes, it was a great film, yes, Jordan Belfort is to many inspirational, but believe me, if you walk in trying to re-enact his sales technique, then you’re going to annoy people or leave the interviewer thinking you’re a bit of a prat!
- Confidence is a great attribute and you shouldn’t be scared of selling yourself, but try to avoid being arrogant.
- This also applies to sounding like you really don’t care about the job and are merely there to fill in the time!
- Being Over Familiar.
- Being nice is one thing, but making overly personal comments to the interviewer is another. Also avoid telling them too much personal information too, they’re really not interested in what you had for your tea or if your dog did a poo in the kitchen before you left!
- Being over familiar makes people feel uncomfortable.
- You’re Unprepared.
- If you really want the job you’re interviewing for, you’ll have done some research into the company. You’ll know a little bit about the company’s history, what they do and what the job is that you’re interviewing for.
- You should also have some questions of your own ready to ask.
- Terrible Body Language.
- It’s generally accepted that interviews are stressful and that you’ll be nervous, but if you appear too overcome by the situation this will leave a bad impression.
- Try to smile and make eye contact with the interviewer (don’t stare at them) and try to rest your arms either on the table in front or in your lap. Crossing them across you will make you appear defensive.
These are just a few reasons that you might create a bad first impression, but it’s not always unsalvageable and let’s face it, who hasn’t gone into an interview and said or done something they wished they hadn’t?
Before you even get to the interview stage, you need to impress with your CV and if you’re struggling to put one together, then why not create a Dalmatian profile and let us help you? Dalmatian is free and easy to use. Create your profile here.