We have all heard the saying, "You never get a second chance to make
a first impression." There is also debate going on among psychologist and
writers about how many seconds it takes for a person to form an opinion of
us. Is it 7, 17, 30 or 90 seconds? The truth of the matter is this: the first
impression can make or break any chance you have for creating a positive impact on the person you are meeting.
Preparation for a job interview is critical:
- Be on time for the appointment - call the day before to confirm the time and address. It is inexcusable to be late.
- Bring your resume - make sure it is updated and error-free.
- Dress appropriately - in business settings, look sharp by dressing slightly more formally than the people you are meeting with. Think of it this way, "Don't dress for the job you have now - dress for the job you want to have."
- Look people in the eye - give a firm handshake.
- Turn off your cell phone - your focus should be on the interview.
- Don't over-talk the interviewer - stop and think about what the person is asking you. Answer truthfully.
- Don't try to be the center of attention - ask intelligent questions, and be a good listener.
- Always be careful with humor - it's great to be good natured, but always stay away from sarcastic remarks.
- Watch your criticism - if you are currently employed, or coming out of a job where you are unhappy - don't be critical or belittling of your employer or fellow workers. The interviewer will pick up on those traits in you, which might establish barriers you won't be able to overcome.
Follow up each interview with a hand-written note to the interviewer thanking
them for the opportunity. This will go a long way to make a lasting impression.