Advice from the Recruiter’s Desk: How to Make a Good Impression during an Interview

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: March 30, 2015

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Photo Credit: http://www.rowan.edu/studentaffairs/cmc/partnership/

Preparing your resume and securing an interview is only half the battle.  Now, you need to ace the interview and ensure that you make a good and lasting impression.  But how do you go about this?  Our recruiters have assembled a list of 10 things you need to make a good first impression.

  1. Know Your Resume: Before going into the interview, be sure that you can speak intelligently about each of your previous experiences. You don’t want to be constantly referring back to your resume during the interview.  If you aren’t well versed in your past roles and companies, how can they expect you to learn theirs?
  1. Dress to Impress: Know your audience. A good rule of thumb is to dress one level above what the company’s dress code is.  For example, if their dress code is casual, you should wear something business casual.  While you don’t want to overdressed, being underdressed would be less acceptable.  For more tips, check out How to Dress for Success as a Professional.
  1. Gather Your Interview Supplies the Night Before: You will most likely be nervous the day of your interview, which may lead you to forget something behind at home. Gathering your supplies the night before will help minimize that risk and avoid potential embarrassment.  You should lay out your clothes and get the directions to the office. In addition, you should bring extra copies of your resume in a portfolio or professional folder.
  1. Be Early, But Not too Early: For the interview, be punctual and arrive early. However, keep in mind that while it’s good to be early, there is such a thing as arriving too early.  Ideally, you should get there about 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview.  Any time prior to that is considered too early.  In addition, it goes without saying that you do NOT want to be late for the interview.  To avoid this, it may be beneficial to do a test run to the company beforehand.
  1. Provide Examples When Talking About Your Skills: When discussing your skills, be sure to back them up with examples. If you say that you’re great at java programming, back it up with a story about how you applied programming to a project you’ve worked on.
  1. Make Eye Contact, Have a Firm Handshake, and a Good Introduction: When first introduced, make eye contact and give them a firm handshake. This will help you to appear confident and composed.  Also, be sure to introduce yourself in an audible and pleasant tone.  The interview begins before you sit down with the interviewer.  You want to make eye contact, smile, and say hello to everyone you come in contact with.  Whether you will fit in culturally is important to most hiring managers.
  1. Be Mindful of Your Body Language: During the interview, you want to appear confident. Sit up straight, and maintain pleasant facial expressions. Also, keep a positive attitude and personality throughout the entire interview.  You do not want to make the mistake of appearing bored, as the interviewer may question your level of interest in the position.
  1. Know the Company and the Position: Before you go in for the interview, you should have a good understanding of the position you’ve applied for. Study the job description! You should also familiarize yourself with the company.  Visit their site multiple times and click through the site. Know more than just their homepage!  The more you know, the easier it will be to answer questions like “why do you think this company/position is right for you?”  In addition, look for recent articles and publishing’s about the company to use as talking points.
  1. Reiterate Interest in the Position: At the end of the interview, remember to restate your interest in the position. This will help demonstrate your seriousness about the job, and leave the interview on a good note.

10. Follow Up: ALWAYS send a thank you note within 24 of your interview. Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position as well.  If you interviewed with multiple people, send each of them a personal thank you.  A thank you note via email is acceptable; however, a handwritten note is preferred and will help you to stand out among the other applicants.

How do you ensure that you make a good impression? Have any tips you want to share?  Tweet us your thoughts!

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