It’s no secret that first impressions are essential. Studies show that people make snap judgments about others within seconds of meeting them. And these judgments often determine the course of a relationship — for better or for worse.
The same is true when it comes to your career. If you want to be successful, you need to make a good impression with potential employers from the get-go. It means putting your best foot forward in every aspect of your job search, from your resume and cover letter to your interview skills and body language.
It can be tough to know where to start, but don’t worry — we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best strategies for making a great impression when you meet with potential employers.
Executing Your Job Search Effortlessly
As you go through the interview process, many things can work in your favor to help you secure the job. But if you don’t do your homework before meeting with prospective employers, it can go seriously wrong — and push you out of the running for a job.
What’s more, this negative impression is often permanent, so it pays to plan and avoid these common mistakes:
Not planning enough time
One of the biggest obstacles to getting yourself organized before an interview is that it’s easy to underestimate the time requirements. While everything might seem doable when you’re sitting at home, it can become all too easy to cut corners or try to fit too much into your schedule once you are actually in the interview process.
As much as possible, try your best to avoid last-minute schedule changes. In many cases, this means steering clear of email interviews. If you must participate, keep your response time short so that you can switch back to other work projects.
Forgetting the basics
Certain things will never go out of style. As you prepare for each interview, make sure to review these key points:
- Prepare Questions: Make a list of questions you want to be answered during your interview. Bring this list with you to the meeting. Also, be prepared to answer any of your interviewer’s questions.
- Review your resume: Before each interview, review your resume to remember the highlights of your work history. Also, have a copy with you during the meeting to refer to as needed.
- Practice Your Answers: If specific questions you know will likely come up in an interview, practice answering these questions aloud. It can help you prepare for any curveballs that might be thrown your way and make sure you know your key selling points inside and out.
Failing to Research the Company
Review its website to find information about its product or service offering, target market, management team, and financial performance. You should also review news articles about the company to see if any recent events might impact your interviewer’s perspective on the company.
Not Having the Right Mindset
The right mindset throughout your job search will help you stay motivated, productive, and positive — even when things aren’t going as well as you might like. As you face an interview with prospective employers, commit yourself to remaining open-minded and optimistic at all times.
Overlooking your Attire
Dressing professionally is a must for all job interviews. Remember to dress one level up from the job you want, considering that specific industries (such as financial services) tend to be more conservative.
Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, with no stains, rips, or tears. Your hair should look neat and well-groomed, and any facial hair should be well-groomed or nonexistent.
Disregarding your Appearance
Confidence is an integral part of interviewing well and coming across as a strong candidate for employers, so take steps to improve your appearance by losing weight if you need to, getting tooth implants to deal with missing teeth, or even having your teeth whitened.
If specific changes still leave you concerned about your appearance, it can be helpful to consult with a counselor who specializes in building self-esteem and body image.
Learning from Experience
When you’ve landed an interview, you can do everything right and still not get the job. If that happens, take the opportunity as a learning experience and figure out what went wrong. Follow up with your interviewer if you were unclear about the role or company before your meeting.
Securing the Position
Even after you’ve aced an interview, it’s essential to continue working for that ideal position to prove your value to the company and demonstrate your commitment. One way to do so is by being proactive about your performance.
Nonetheless, by following the tips outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of success when meeting with potential employers. And, you never know when your next job opportunity might be just around the corner.