The first meeting with a potential new employer sets the tone for what could be a lasting relationship. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion of you based on just your body language, demeanor, mannerisms and dress. So it goes without saying that first impressions are extremely important; there's never a second chance to make a great first impression. 

Below are 6 tips to ensure you feel well prepared and put your best foot forward at your next interview. 

 

DO YOUR RESEARCH 

 

It is more than likely that the first question you will be asked during an interview is "What do you know about the company?" So it's crucial to read up on both the organisation and the position you are applying for beforehand to make a positive impression. Looking at some of the company's recent news or blogs will show that you've done your research and will create some good topics for conversation. If the role is something new to you, it won't hurt to Google what's typically expected and let the interviewer fill in the gaps. Your research will also help to form questions to ask the interviewer, which will further highlight your preparedness and keen interest in the opportunity. 

 

BE ON TIME 

 

This should be obvious. Being punctual is vital for a good first impression. If you're late for your interview, how can you expect the interviewer to believe you'll ever be on time for work? If you really can't help running late, make sure you call up and let them know your reasons as soon as possible. Never leave them waiting for you. On the otherside of the coin, you don't want to turn up too early either. Arriving five to ten minutes before your scheduled interview time is good etiquette and will give you a little time to prepare yourself. 

 

DRESS TO IMPRESS

 

The interviewer will begin forming an opinion of you the moment you are introduced. Dressing appropriately and professionally is key to making a good first impression. Even if you know the job will allow you to dress casually, it's best to make the extra effort and dress as smartly as you can to show you're dedicated and serious about wanting the job. 

 

BE PREPARED TO TALK ABOUT YOURSELF

 

An interview is the employers way to get to know you and find out if you're the right person for the job. Therefore it's only natural for you to be the main topic of conversation. Make sure you know your CV inside out so you are confident in discussing your previous experiences and skills naturally, and the reasons why they could help you in the role. Prepare yourself by looking up some common interview questions to get an idea of how you'll answer them, then keep practicing! You can find some useful tips here

 

HAVE QUESTIONS READY

 

It's important to remember that interviews are a two way conversation, and that the interviewer will always provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have. Make the most of this and prepare these prior to your meeting. Not only is this your chance to find out more about the job and whether the company is the right fit for you, it shows that you've spent time to properly think about the opportunity and will make you stand out from the crowd. 

 

COMMUNICATION IS KEY 

 

Demonstrating good communication skills and body language is integral to make a lasting first impression. Remember to smile when you introduce yourself, and offer a firm handshake. It's completley normal to feel nervous, so allow yoursef a little breathing time between questions. This will help you gather your thoughts and respond clearly and succinctly. Eye contact is also essential and shows that your engaged in the conversation. 

 

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