First impressions are everything, especially during the hiring process. For candidates, your first impression starts all the way at your resume and continues into your first interview, be it on the phone, by video, or on-site. For employers, your first impression starts as early as your job posting and grows with your first contact and interview as well. Here, we are assuming that you have made it to the interviewing stage and are looking to nail the best impression possible, so keep reading below to learn more about how your posture, your outfits, your environment, and more can go a long way to making you shine.
How to Impress Interviewers as an Interviewee
Dress to Impress
Your appearance speaks volumes about you, and dressing professionally shows the interviewer that you take this opportunity seriously. The clothing you wear should be appropriate for the job, with the right style and color. Men should wear a suit while women should wear a pantsuit, a skirt suit or a professional dress. Keep your hair neat and well-groomed, and avoid wearing heavy cologne or perfume which can be overpowering.
Arrive On Time
Punctuality is a vital part of making a good first impression. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time of the interview. This will show the interviewer that you are responsible, reliable, and respectful of their time. That being said, arriving too early can seem like your time management skills are lacking, so be careful not to arrive more than 15 minutes early.
Your body language can speak louder than your words in an interview. Be sure to maintain eye contact, smile, and use a firm handshake. Good posture is also important, as it exudes confidence and shows that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
Research the company and learn about their mission and core values. Look up the job description and prepare answers to common interview questions. Be ready to showcase your skills, experiences, and education. Having knowledge about their industry and occupation shows that you are well-prepared, and enthusiastic about the role.
Employers want to see passion and enthusiasm in their prospective employees. Speak with confidence about your skills and experience, and ask thoughtful questions. Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the position and that you are willing to go above and beyond to get the job done
Adapting for Phone Interviews
In the case of a phone interview, candidates should still be prepared, on time, and enthusiastic. While it is less vital to dress correctly, good posture can be ‘heard’ through the phone, so interviewees should be sure to sit straight and stay focused on the conversation.
When it comes to phone interviews, interviewees should know that a rescheduled phone interview is better than a hectic one. While you should always strive to be prepared, sometimes you will simply be caught off guard, either because of a sudden change around you or an unscheduled call. If that happens, let it ring through and call back when you are in a stable, comfortable environment that will provide a quiet spot for you for at least 30 minutes.
How to Impress Interviewees as an Interviewer
Before conducting the interview, review the applicant’s resume and cover letter. Prepare a list of questions that will help you learn more about their qualifications, experience, and personality. You should also arrange the interview location and ensure that you have all the necessary equipment, such as a computer or microphone.
Be Respectful and Professional
Remember that the interview is a two-way street – it’s crucial to treat the interviewee with respect and professionalism. Start with a warm greeting and introduce yourself. Make sure you are polite, and use appropriate language to address them. Give them your full attention during the interview and avoid any distractions, such as looking at your phone or computer.
Create a Comfortable Environment
To help the interviewee relax, start with some small talk to break the ice. Offer them a seat, and make sure the interview room is comfortable, well-lit, and at a reasonable temperature. By creating a relaxed atmosphere, the interviewee will feel more comfortable, confident, and willing to share more about their past experiences.
Provide Clear Instructions
Explain the interview process in detail to the applicant, including how long the interview will last, the type of questions asked, and the format. Give them ample opportunities to ask any questions they may have about the position, work culture, team structure, or any other relevant topics.
Offer Feedback and Follow-Up
Provide feedback to the applicant after the interview, whether they got the job or not. It may take some time to provide feedback, but do not keep the candidate waiting for too long. Let them know what stood out in their application, and give them constructive feedback on what they can improve upon. Follow up with them after the interview to let them know the final hiring decision or give them a timeline for when they can expect a final answer.
Adapting to Phone Interviews
Sometimes, in-person interviews are inconvenient and phone interviews, especially for first contact, are used instead. While most of these tips can easily be applied to phone interviews, employers should be aware of circumstances facing candidates when they call.
If the call is the first contact and unscheduled, chances are that the call will either be ignored or a candidate may pick up during a time that is not great for an interview, so consider using that time to introduce yourself and schedule another time period for a real conversation. Texting or emailing the candidate to schedule the phone call is a great way to coordinate as well, as it ensures that the candidate can prepare themselves and the environment and shows that you understand that the candidate may be busy and that you respect their time.
No matter which side of the interview you are on, it is always important to leave the best impression possible. If you are nervous about how to do that or simply want the benefit of having highly knowledgeable support, then check out our recruiters at Radius Staffing Solutions. They are highly specialized and ready to help, whatever your hiring or job-hunting needs may be.
If you are an employer looking to hire, click here to connect. If you are a candidate looking for a job, then check out our job board here or send us an updated resume here and connect as soon as today!