We’ve addressed the topic of the face-to-face interview on many occasions in this blog. The reason for this is simple: the interview is the part of the hiring process that determines whether or not you’ll receive an offer of employment.
We’ve published a post about finishing your interview in a strong fashion. This time around, we’re going to address starting your interview strong and making a great first impression. As you’ve probably heard before numerous times, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Once you’ve made your first impression during the interview, you’ve made your impression. You will either spend the rest of the interview reinforcing that impression (if it was positive) or you will spend the rest of the interview trying to reverse that impression (if it was negative).
So it’s far better if your start the interview on the right foot, so to speak, and make a great first impression that you can spend the remainder of the interview reinforcing.
Below are four ways to start your face-to-face interview strong:
#1—Introduce yourself assertively, but briefly.
Preparation and practice is essential here. You should know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Then you should practice saying it until you’re comfortable with your presentation. Practice with other people, if you can, and solicit their feedback. “Hi, I’m John Doe. I’m interviewing for the automation engineer position.”
#2—Be energetic and positive.
People are drawn to people who have high levels of energy. Unless, of course, that energy manifests itself in a manic way. (As a general rule, nobody likes manic.) And be positive, as well. If it was raining when you arrived for the interview, don’t bemoan the fact it was raining. Companies hire people who are upbeat in the face of adversity.
#3—Strive to be engaging with every aspect of your presentation.
This includes everything you do, both verbally and non-verbally. How you shake hands. Whether or not you look the person in the eye. Whether or not you smile. Whatever you do, you want those who are interviewing you to be engaged in their conversation with you. They should be focused on you and thinking about your candidacy.
#4—Focus on your candidacy.
You want them to focus on your candidacy because that’s what you’ll be focusing on, too. During the interview, the hiring manager should be making the connection in their mind between the positon and your candidacy. Help them to make that connection as quickly as you can during the initial dialogue. Then build on that as much as you can.
While finishing your interview on a positive note is important, so is starting your interview in a strong fashion. If you don’t start strong, then you’ll be “running uphill” for the remainder of the discussion. It will take more time and energy for you to convince those interviewing you that you’re the right person for the position.
Once a hiring manager starts “screening you out” during the interview, it’s difficult to convince them to “screen you back in.” It can be done, but it’s infinitely more difficult and success is nowhere near guaranteed.
Are you in the market for a great new employment opportunity? The Doepker Group can help!