Make a good impression at your next job interview

Your credentials on paper are enough to get you an interview, but it is the impression you make during that interview that decides whether or not the job is yours. As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". Follow our tips, listed below, to makes sure you leave a strong, lasting, and positive impression not only in interviews but also in meetings and daily business life.

Be punctual and prepared

Being punctual to an interview or meeting is an absolute must. Few things can make a worse impression than showing up late. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start. Map out your route in advance and be sure to account for possible delays. You also want to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and forms. Even if you have already emailed your CV, have it with you in paper form at the interview. Also, make note of the name of the person or persons with whom you are meeting.

Be mindful of the dress code

What you wear to an interview plays a large role in how you are perceived. Your appearance is not only yours; should you be hired, you will also represent the business you work for, so bear this in mind. Take some time to figure out what the dress code of the company is like. If you are not sure, err on the side of conservative. Do not show too much skin, make sure your clothing fits well, is ironed and laundered, and avoid flashy jewellery.

Start out strong

Begin the interview with a genuine smile and a firm handshake. Greet your interviewer by name, give him or her yours, and make eye contact right from the start. Walk into the room confidently and maintain good posture. Radiate confidence and remember: the interviewer wants this process to go well, too.

Check your body language and tone

During the interview or meeting, stay positive in both tone and posture. Sit up straight, lean in when others are speaking to you, and make eye contact often. Speak with enthusiasm and confidence. Avoid nervous laughter if possible and keep your answers concise and applicable to the subject or question.

A fond farewell and a follow-up

How you leave a room is just important as how you entered it. Make a lasting impression with another firm handshake and a genuine "thank you". Following-up on the interview shows ambition so a day or two after the interview write a friendly and brief email to your interviewer. In it you can once again express your thanks as well as reconfirm your interest in the position.