First Impression Interview

How To Make A Great One At The Interview

A person will draw the impression about another in the first 20-30 seconds of the meeting. This is an important fact to keep in mind when you meet someone you want to impress, i.e. you would need to project your best possible in those thirty seconds to be assured of a positive impact in the mind of the person whom you are meeting.

When we are talking about an interview, the first impression you make can be to the overall output of the exercise. The reverse stands true if the first impression is a good one.

Hence, you need to work very hard to have that first 30 seconds worked out to perfection when you meet the panelists of an interview. Of course, in most cases it is very difficult to do so, because these first 30 seconds represent your adjustment time, when you size up the people, the room and the atmosphere in the interview hall as well.

However, since now you understand the importance of making a great first impression; let us go through a few tips that would help you in your endeavor:

Send an impeccably written resume and Cover Letter This is the first time the interviewer sees you. The person would make his/her first pre-impression from the manner and feel of your Cv and cover letter.

Ensure that

  • these are exceptionally well written on high quality paper (preferably on a paste colored paper),
  • completely error free (read and re-read it before sending it and be sure that it does not need any further tweaking or corrections); Check punctuation, right meaning of unusual words you might have used (do not use bombastic or new words unless you are really familiar with them and they match to what you want to say to perfection; rather use simple and crisp English)
  • Have one-paragraph summary at the top of the CV, so the person can draw the necessary inference in less than 10 seconds

Dress impeccably the first thing that one sees is the overall looks. You need to dress for success your clothes should show you as a confident and capable person. To achieve this, you would need to ensure that:

  • your clothes are clean (laundered) and ironed,
  • your clothes are in tune with the present times (not your grandfathers/ grandmothers suit)
  • the clothes fit you to perfection do not wear borrowed clothes unless these are your size
  • the shoes are polished, closed and matching your ensemble (men should wear matching socks)
  • your accessories match what you wear
  • your hair is combed for formal occasions (get rid of any crazy colors if you had had it dyed before)
  • wear a deodorant by rule even if you feel that you have no body odor (people often sweat when under stress, and the interview being classified as one very stressful occasion can make you sweat badly)
  • if you like to wear perfume/aftershave wear one that is mild and wear it in moderation; there is nothing more annoying that having one to put up with a person who literally took bath in scent/ perfume/ aftershave.
  • learn something from each interview you go to
  • Be punctual Punctuality is a virtue trehat I cannot stress enough when appearing for an interview. Here, punctuality does not mean being present dot at 5.00 pm when the interview is at 5.00 pm; rather, you should be at least 15-20 minutes early. This would give you time to get the feeling of the place, orient yourself well and establish a friendly rapport with the secretary and/or receptionist who would most probably send the results of the interview when the time comes. Being early will also help you re-arrange your hair, clothes, et al so you could be at your impeccable best when you appear for the interview.

    Be friendly and respectful it is very important that you are polite and friendly with your fellow candidates as well as with the person who is coordinating the interview. Often a positive impression outside the interview hall (reported back to the interviewers) would give an extra edge.

    Research well never go unprepared for the interview. You will need to know enough about the company to find a match between your skills and their direction.