To help you make a great first impression in a job interview, we asked hiring managers and experienced recruiters for their best tips – “What is one thing candidates should do in an interview to make a good impression?”
From asking questions that show you are already invested, to displaying a positive attitude, there are several things you can do as a candidate to leave the best impression on your job interviewer.
- Dress Professionally
- Know The Company
- Create a 90-Day Plan for The Role You Are Applying for
- Engage With The Interviewer
- Show a Positive Attitude
- Maintain Eye Contact
- Ask Questions That Show You Are Already Invested
- Cite Examples of Your Best Work
- Be Authentic in Presenting Yourself
- Sometimes Less is More
- Send a Thank-You Note
This should go without saying, but oftentimes people don’t think of this: Dress for success when you go in for a job interview. The old adage that goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true. Pay attention to details when it comes to your appearance. Make sure your suit has no stains and no wrinkles. And by all means, make sure your shoes are shined and free of scuffs. Interviewers will always notice a sharp-dressed candidate. You give yourself a leg up when you look the part.
Joel Jackson, Lifeforce
Know The Company
If you want to make a good impression in every job interview then be sure to research the company before your interview. The people you will be interviewing work there, and are more likely than not excited about the company and the work they do. Ride that wave of excitement by familiarizing yourself with the company. Great places to start are the company’s mission statement, philanthropic endeavors, and even reading through active job postings to see what the company finds important.
Bryor Mosley, Southern New Hampshire University
Create a 90-Day Plan for The Role You Are Applying for
Preparing for an interview can be stressful for anyone. Prior to the interview, the candidate is brainstorming how they can leave a lasting impression knowing each candidate that was selected for the interview will arrive properly dressed, with a great resume, smile and positive energy.
How can I set myself apart? My recommendation is to create a 90-day plan for the role you are applying for. Presenting your 90-day plan at the end of the interview is an impression the employers will remember. It shows you took the time to figure out how you will get onboarded within 30, 60 and 90 days. Remember when you get the role to utilize the 90-day you prepared. Good Luck, you got this!
TK Morgan, Tuesday At 1030
Engage With The Interviewer
It’s smart to prepare what you’ll answer to common questions before you get to the interview, but you don’t want to plan it out to the point it sounds like you’re reading a script. You can establish this tone from the start by being friendly and conversational when you meet the interviewer. This doesn’t mean chattering aimlessly (something to consciously avoid if you’re a nervous talker), but if they ask how you are, ask back. A bit of small talk and polite pleasantries can help set you at ease along with giving a personable first impression.
As the interview moves forward, pay close attention to the question the interviewer asks and ensure you’re answering it exactly, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you need it. The better you’re able to engage with the interviewer, the more likely you’ll be to stand out in their mind when they’re thinking about their top candidates.
Jon Hill, The Energists
Show a Positive Attitude
When interviewing candidates for the role, we are not only checking their knowledge but also their attitude towards work. It is very important that the new employee gets along with the rest of the team. A positive attitude, confidence and cheerful spirit are very important during the interview and it for sure leaves a good impression of you and your character.
Luke Smoothy, Get It Made Ltd
Maintain Eye Contact
Candidates should maintain eye contact with the interviewers. If there are multiple interviewers, make brief eye contact with each one of them as you talk. If you are doing a virtual interview, position the webcam so that it is at eye level and look directly into the camera as much as possible. Eye contact will demonstrate that you are engaged and confident in yourself.
Michaela Iglesia, MD, O My Gulay
Ask Questions That Show You Are Already Invested
Requesting more information on how you can succeed in the role is a big plus point for most hiring managers. One of these could simply be asking more details on the resources available to you, especially for managerial positions (e.g. manpower, budget, decision-making power, etc.).
Another example would be the company’s definition of success for the most immediate projects that need to be worked on. Finally, a question which typically isn’t asked is, “What types of skills is the team currently missing that I can potentially help to fill?”
Trendy Tan, QuickHR
Cite Examples of Your Best Work
What did you do well for your former company? Tell the interviewer what is the greatest compliment you have received from your leaders and managers. This will give the company you are applying to an idea of what they can expect from you should they decide to hire you.
Chad Rubin, Profasee
Be Authentic in Presenting Yourself
For both sides, an interview is basically about finding out how well you fit together. In my experience, the most important thing is to be authentic. If candidates are not authentic, they will either have to constantly disguise themselves if they are accepted, or they may disappoint their future employer at a later date when their true personality is revealed. I am convinced that this is the reason why candidates get more acceptances when they apply for a job while being employed. There is no pressure on candidates, which allows them to be who they are.
In order to be able to implement this, it is essential to deal with one’s own personality beforehand. This includes asking yourself questions such as “what is really important to me?”, “what are my strengths – also outside of work?”, “what do I want and what do I not want? – to name just a few.
Matt Radulescu, iTEC Informationssysteme AG
Sometimes Less is More
Be honest with the hiring manager about your motivations for changing jobs. However, over-sharing can inadvertently create additional concerns for the interviewer. For example, if you left a previous position due to a negative relationship with your supervisor, a direct and constructive explanation could be, “I found an opportunity with another company where I felt I would have a strong partnership with my supervisor and would align well with the culture.”
Morris Jessup, Corporate Job Bank
Send a Thank-You Note
To make a good impression, candidates should thank the interviewer for taking the time to consider them for the opportunity. Surprisingly, many job seekers still do not send a thank-you email or note that can put their best foot forward to employers. It is a simple way to show their interest in being a part of the company and remind the interviewer why they would be the best candidate for the role.
Benjamin Farber, Bristol Associates, Inc.