Interview First Impressions
SummaryFirst Impressions can be crucial to a great job interview! Improve you chances of landing that job, read some tips.
- Author Company: PharmiWeb.com
- Author Name: Editor
If you are like most job seekers, then your first REAL impression with a company is at an interview.
The first thing you should do before an interview is make sure you're fully prepared. Careful preparation can help ensure that you get the job, and a few simple preparations can help set the tone for your interview.
If possible, prepare in advance. Read up on the company's culture, mission and values to see if they align with your personal goals and personality. You don't want to go into an interview without having a solid understanding of the company, but it's also important not to overthink things. If you know what to expect at the interview, then you'll be able to relax and focus on how you actually feel about working there.
Before going in for an interview, mentally rehearse what you're going to address during the conversation with your potential employer. Have all of your questions written down so that when answering them during the interview, it's easier for everyone involved (including yourself) to remember them all at once. It sounds like a lot of work upfront, but this will significantly ease stress while also ensuring that something happens in between your initial phone call and meeting with an interviewer as opposed to during or after it.
Your initial introduction to the organization via an introductory phone call or first face-to-face meeting is important (and can be challenging), but it does not hold as much weight as an interview.
Unfortunately, your first impression is not the most important thing. Your interview is far more important. This means you can get past the first round and still not get the job.
What makes an interview important? It's where they get to know you better, find out if you are a good fit for their company, and determine if they want to hire you.
What can make a good or bad first impression? Well, that depends on how you do in the interview. You may have a bad first impression of me (in which case it would be my fault), but everyone who interviews with me has a great first impression because I'm just that awesome. But seriously, your job is to impress them enough so they want to hire you, so go knock 'em dead!
The interview is both dreaded and anticipated by most people.
Although it's a challenge, the interview is both dreaded and anticipated by most people. It can be stressful to think about talking face-to-face with someone you've never met before and being judged on your appearance and charm, but it can also be fun and exciting. If you are going in to an interview as a student, you might have information that isn't even shared online that could help you get the job (like being friendly with people who work there). And if you are interviewing for a job where lots of things online don't matter (like an internship), your personal connections might be enough to get the job without needing all these other things that aren't important during the interview process anyway. Overall, the interview is a rite of passage into adulthood that somehow puts everyone on equal footing (you are not expected to be perfect or know everything) while still being a competition (you need to show how great you are).
You may be nervous about what to say, how to act and whether you will be able to answer questions correctly in person, while also trying to put your best foot forward and show off your considerable strengths.
How do you put your best foot forward and show off your considerable strengths? This is the first question most potential employers ask of job candidates. Yet, too many people are afraid to answer it and end up giving half-truths or completely misleading answers. How should you answer it? A good rule of thumb is to be honest but not too truthful. Staying on the fence can be a good way to get shortlisted for interview stages. If you're asked about your weaknesses, for example, don't hang your head in shame and give an exaggerated "I'm perfect" response that sounds like an insult or exaggeration from a family member when they're being unhelpful—you know what I mean by "over-selling" yourself, right? In fact, if you're looking for work in an industry where you have experience, this can help set the tone with employers who may otherwise think that you're over-complicating things because of bad experiences with previous employments; what better way to set out a positive impression than to simply confirm how much value they'd be getting if they hired you!
If you've been unsuccessful in previous interviews and want to work at a company where there's room for growth potential or career advancement opportunities (and possibly even relocation), one thing that anyone interviewing candidates should establish during their initial conversations is whether they have skills that could be useful in the company's future vision or plans (particularly as these will typically differ between companies). The hiring manager can then gauge whether persons are right for their open position based on their skillset and experience levels.
This pressure and anticipation makes the interview highly stressful for many people.
Interviewing for a new job can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you're nervous or anxious. As the hiring manager, I've watched many candidates enter my office with a wide range of emotions going through their heads—fear of saying something embarrassing, fear of saying something that is too personal, fear of saying something that is inappropriate or negative. These feelings often lead to people feeling like they lack the experience or are underqualified for the job and thus have nothing valuable to add.
The goal here is to quell some of these fears and help people feel more prepared when they walk into an interview. There's no magic trick that makes it go away completely—if there were, interviews would not be a very good way to evaluate candidates for jobs! However, you can minimize this stress by knowing what you're going in there to say and how you want your personality to come across.
You need to understand that hiring managers are also under pressure when they are conducting an interview.
Confidence is a quality that must shine when you're interviewing for a new job. While it's fine to feel nervous, you shouldn't let that get out of control. Confidence shows that you're the right person for the job and also helps build trust with your interviewer as they get to know you better. Understand that hiring managers are also under pressure when they are conducting an interview, so staying confident will make the interview process less stressful for them as well.
Confidence is essential for getting any job—especially entry-level ones where you don't have much experience yet. Most of those jobs really need someone who believes in their abilities, and the worst thing is if your lack of confidence leads to passivity during your interview. The interviewer will assume that you'll be passive in their workplace too, which isn't a good sign.
Many people erroneously believe that confidence is something beyond their control; if they don't feel confident they can make themselves feel more so by wearing something fancy or just imagining a positive outcome to the situation. That isn't true! Instead it's important to find things about yourself that are positive and focus on them instead of being bothered by negative thoughts like “I'm not good enough” or “I don't deserve this job” or even “I'm going to mess up this interview” (LOL).
They want to just get through the process of interviewing and hire the perfect candidate, but they have to find time in their busy schedules to conduct interviews, which is usually quite difficult because they have day jobs that don't stop just because they might be looking for someone else to add on their team.
As time-strapped hiring managers, they want to get through the process of interviewing and hire the perfect candidate, but they have to find time in their busy schedules to conduct interviews, which is usually quite difficult because they have day jobs that don't stop just because they might be looking for someone else to add on their team. This isn't even mentioning the amount of work involved in setting up a job posting and being ready with open-ended questions designed to get at what a candidate's strengths are and how they're likely to fit into the company culture. It's easy for them to look past all this extra stress when the right person walks in: then it's just like magic.
But this is an idealistic view, so let's consider some of the more realistic hurdles they'll face throughout the process:
Finding free time: As recruiters, hiring managers are often overscheduled and held responsible for recruitment across multiple different positions. If a position has been high on their list for some time now, it can feel like he or she may never be able to devote enough time towards recruiting until that position is filled. The good news (if there is such thing as good news here) is that hiring happens faster once candidates enter the process—if only there was a way for candidates and recruiters/managers to connect before then...
This creates stress for them because it means that if they don't hire the right person quickly enough, then their work will pile up further.
Interview time is precious, and it's stressful for hiring managers who are juggling their day job responsibilities with the need to fill a position. In some cases, the burden of conducting interviews falls on a colleague whose work can pile up while they're out. If you're in a position where you have to conduct interviews, here are some tips:
Schedule your interview around a conference room that won't be interrupted by other people's conversations or get booked out by another coworker.
Make sure to look up the person's LinkedIn profile beforehand and take notes so you don't forget any important information about them when they show up for their interview. Also, bring up something personal about them from the profile in your conversation so that they feel comfortable with you quickly.
Be prepared for phone screens by writing down all of the questions and topics that will probably come up during the call beforehand so that your notes don't distract from what you're saying.
If possible, try not to schedule all of your phone interviews at one time—it'll make it harder for you to focus on each candidate because there will be too many voices in your head at once (this only applies if you have multiple candidates scheduled for different times).
In addition, hiring managers will also be under pressure from upper management who want to know when a new employee will be hired.
The hiring manager has a lot on his or her plate. Not only is he or she responsible for filling an open spot, but also they are likely under pressure from management to fill this position quickly. The company wants to expand, and the hiring managers have to be sure they're bringing in the right person to help with that growth. It's a lot of responsibility!
With so much going on, it can be difficult for hiring managers to take time out of their days for interviews. And when they do have time, it's typically for shorter periods of time because there's always another pressing matter on their minds. For instance, you can't expect them to talk about your professional experience at length if upper management wants them to give an update about the status of your candidacy within 30 minutes. What you can do is make the most of this limited time by doing your part in preparing beforehand: have your resumes and cover letters reviewed by someone you trust; make sure you've chosen a good selection of references; and prepare answers ahead of time that address specific situations you remember being involved in at previous jobs (e.g., “Tell me about a problem you faced during project X”). This way during the actual interview, when your interviewer asks questions like these, he or she will be less likely to be distracted by some other issue and more able to focus on what really matters—finding out whether or not you're a good fit for the job and company