Tuesday, 20 January 2015

5 tips on how to make a great first impression at an interview

Job interviews are some of the most nerve wracking times of our adult lives; so much can be riding on the impression you give a potential employer in the 20 minutes or so that you're sat in a room with them. As an employer myself I can tell you that first impressions are absolutely everything. Before you even open your mouth you will be judged by the panel so appearance plays a massive part in how they perceive you before they even really know anything concrete about you...


Try and inject some colour into your outfit

A plain black and white get up would be absolutely fine, but try and show your personality through colour a little bit. I'm not suggesting that you should go in with your brightest yellow tights on with a lime green skirt, I'm simply saying that a little bit of colour not only breaks up an outfit but I just think it looks a little more approachable than being totally conservative with black and white. Maybe a red shirt under your jacket or a navy blue dress with black tights instead of a suit.

Make sure your shoes are clean, tidy and appropriate


It might like an obvious one but if you're wearing black shoes you'd be surprised how they can start to look dirty and tired. Make sure they're properly polished and clean and if you're not good at walking in heels, don't wear them because you'll end up looking daft when you're walking like Bambi on ice!


Stand/sit up straight


No matter how nervous you are, don't slouch. It makes you look like you are totally unconfident and not ready for a challenge... how can you expect someone else to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself?


Make eye contact

This sort of goes hand in hand with standing up straight; don't look at the floor make sure you make eye contact with whoever is on the panel as soon as you walk in, smile and look at them otherwise you'll look unapproachable and uncomfortable.

Sit still and speak slowly but fluently

When I'm nervous I have an awful habit of bouncing my leg up and down (sounds very weird, and it looks even weirder, haha) and I stutter horribly if I don't get my breathing under control. Sit comfortably but with good posture, clear your mind and think about what you are being asked then answer clearly; open your mouth properly to talk  and don't try and get your words out too quickly because that's when you're likely to stutter.

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interviews, obviously there's so much more to interviewing well as a whole but the first impression is absolutely key. Not every interview will be a successful one but don't worry too much, because although it's disappointing to be turned down, there's always another job you can apply for. A good place to start when applying for jobs would be an online UK job search* website like City Calling which makes applying for jobs so easy because you can upload a CV and apply for whatever job takes your fancy and they'll also let you know when new vacancies arise which might be of interest to you.

What are your top tips for a successful interview?

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