A large amount of the individuals who have made their way up the corporate ladder or excelled in their chosen fields have learned about the value of the first impression. But how do job applicants benefit from creating a good first impression at an interview, or when meeting a hiring manager for the first time?
Here are some of the most common ways that successful people have generated a lot more interest in their ‘personal brands’ by making an excellent impression during those first critical minutes of a meeting or interview.
Know Your Stuff
Making the right impression starts long before you enter the building for an interview. As part of a strong overall presentation, it’s important to read up on anything that might come up during the interview or meeting. Beyond just “being smart,” there is an additional reason for this – having the knowledge in hand can help you to respond better to questions, instead of hemming and hawing at all of the wrong times.
In many cases, those who make the best impressions are going to be the job applicants who go out of their way to help facilitate the meeting or interview. This doesn’t mean taking the reins or acting out of turn – however, some small gestures like a move to shake hands, or anticipation of tough questions can help out in establishing the kind of presence you want, and the impression that you want to make. Prior to an interview, this may mean making phone contact, following up with an email, or sending some kind of reminder to an office.
Practice Good “Scripting”
These days, more and more hiring managers and other professionals are talking about how much they value clear and coherent answers to questions. In general, you may be able to make a superior impression by providing brief but informative answers to questions, and by avoiding the kinds of ‘filibuster’ answers that take up valuable time and distract from the interview process. That doesn’t mean you need to answer questions with monosyllabic yes or no answers; what it means is that you can focus on getting right to the point in your responses. This is also something that you can work on before an interview takes place.
This component of a great impression almost goes without saying – most job seekers have figured out the benefits of dressing up, and physically preparing for a career opportunity. But beyond having the right kind of dress for the occasion, there are other elements that people tend to forget. For example, body language is another very important physical component that can make just as much of an impact as how you dress, or how you do your hair. Think about all of these things as part of last-minute preparations.
All of these points can help to create that “wow factor” that helps individual professionals to land their next job or advance in their chosen fields. For more, take a look at what the Squires Group offers in the realm of workforce management and business consultation, to both companies and individual job seekers.