You aced the phone interview and now they would like to meet you for a face to face interview. No problem…right?
Right! If you follow these basic suggestions…remember most people have an impression of you within the first
10 seconds of meeting you.
1. Make eye contact, smile and give a firm hand shake: This may seem obvious, but many candidates when nervous, forget to make eye contact. The number one killer for first impressions is to fail to make eye contact. People generally think when you do not make eye contact that you are trying to hide something or you are just plain rude. Smile…it just makes a person look better and the interviewer will think you are friendly, confident and happy to be at the interview. The Handshake…a firm handshake is a must. Weak handshakes come off as the person being weak. And don’t crush their hand by over doing it…that can be taken as a sign of aggression.
2. Greet the person by their name and ask how they are: Greeting the person by their name can be the most positive action you do to create a good impression. Saying a persons name creates a level of comfort and familiarity. And by all means, ask the interviewer how they are…first of all, it is the polite thing to do and it shows a degree of interest.
3. Be polite to every person you come in contact with: When you arrive, TURN OFF your cell phone…if you feel the need to be busy, take a trade magazine and read it, or appear to read it. The best thing you can do is interact with the receptionist or other employees that walk through, but don’t keep them from doing their job. Interacting with company employees shows that you are confident, friendly and sociable.
4. If you are asked if you would like something to drink: Say yes. And ask for water. Nothing else…no coffee, no soda and definitely no adult beverages…this is an interview, not happy hour. To refuse a drink, is rude in some cultures and to walk in with your own drink is a big No-No.
5. Wear appropriate clothing: A poor choice in clothing can kill you before you even get started. Men, wear a suit, not one from 20 years ago, and your best Sunday shoes, do not show up in a GQ suit with shoes that have scuff marks or worse yet, a hole in the sole. Women, wear a suit/skirt or suit/pants and do not wear any revealing clothing and keep the stilettos in the closet. It is ok to accessorize, but don’t wear all your bling or bathe in perfume. And for both genders…make sure you remove any facial piercings. Oh…and make sure you brush your teeth and pop a mint before you walk in.
Happy interviewing and I know you are probably thinking these basic suggestions seem silly to remember but when you have had a candidate go into an interview and not remove their sunglasses through the entire interview…you take nothing for granted!
You only have one first impression.