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Many experts in communications claim that the first 30 or 60 seconds are crucial for building a visual opinion for the person sitting opposite us.
If this is true (and my personal experience also confirms this), then you have the task to achieve your first small victory in getting a good first impression before the job interview has even started. It will be perfect if you can fulfill this task in 60 seconds and even better if you can achieve it for 30 seconds.
Do not worry – this is actually easy. See what you can do:
- Dress appropriately
Yes, I know that it may sound elementary when you first read it, but I have reasons to do this emphasis, as long as the percentage of people dressed inappropriately for an interview is very high these days.
Remember the following rule – you should be dressed as you think the interviewer will be dressed or one step higher than him.
Or, if you sit for an interview in an office of one company and know that you will meet with some business people, then a suit, a shirt and a tie are mandatory if you are male and clean business suit, if you are a woman.
However, if applying for a job which is not so strictly in the business area like for example for a chef in a fast food restaurant, trousers and shirt would suffice in most demanding case, if you are a woman – a free, sport-elegant clothes, and why not a light color if the season and your wardrobe are allowing it (light is related to cleanliness and hygiene, as it is necessary in cooking).
Especially for clothing and appearance we are going to talk in another material, but this is the important principle – put on clothes which are expected to be worn at this level, or one step higher than the person leading the interview.
- Be on time for the interview
If you have a time set for the meeting (and you should have) – be punctual!
Your presence at the appointed hour or a few minutes earlier is the first step towards establishing a great first impression. Nobody likes when the other party is late, and it does not speak well when future employees do that.
So I encourage you to organize your trip to the company that you can be in front of the employer at least 15-20 minutes before the interview, and you should be at the door for an interview (with the secretary or other assistant) at least 5-10 minutes before that.
- Be observant
Your arrival 15-20 minutes prior to the meeting will help you calm down more or less for your meeting, to normalize your heart rate and to adjust psychologically.
The last 5-10 minutes inside the premises of the company will also help you to directly observe what is the working environment, how do people that you are going to work with look like , how they are dressed and what is the language that you should use.
I personally go to job interviews at least 15 minutes earlier in order to do all the things that I have just described, and to collect the following important information:
Are the furniture modern, economically, raunchy or cheap?
Is it neat, clean and comfortable in the corridors as well as in the rooms of the company? It is quickly noticeable and speaks a lot about the future climate and the mentality of many business owners.
To make an observation about the phone calls of the company, and for this purpose you should wait at the reception desk of the secretary. If it rings from time to time – then the company has a job, if it is silent – this could be bad.
What does the secretary think for the company she is working for and for which you are going to apply, and even what does she think for your future boss? You will be surprised to find out how many things you may know from a secretary in just 10 minutes of conversation with her.
What do employees talk in the corridors, how are they dressed, do they use a certain jargon, are they smiling? All these are invaluable signals that can help a lot during the interview, which is within minutes.
All this information has helped me a lot about the correct setting for the interview. Thanks to it I get the chance to make appropriate prelude at the meeting, to “melt the ice” and immediately led the interviewer to pay me more attention.