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A Successful First Impression – 4 Unbeatable Job Interview Tips

First impressions happen quickly, usually in a matter of secondsand even before you say the word “hello.” And those first impressions tell people a little about who you are. The first few moments of a meeting identify whether you’re trustworthy, charismatic, intelligent, or on an upward leadership trajectory.

Of course, first impressions aren’t everything. People change their minds when they get better information. So the first few seconds of your interview shouldn’t define the half-hour conversation. But it would help if you kept those first few seconds in mind when you plan for your interview.

How can you make an accurate first impression? You can use these four science-backed tips to get started.

1. Find a Great Interview Wardrobe 

The clothes don’t make the person, but they do spark a positive first impression. One Canadian studyfound that people who dressed in business attire believed the wearer was a competent worker on an upward trajectory to their next promotion.

Our advice? Find one great interview outfit that allows you to dress for the job you want. Then, move on to tip #2!

2. Wear Clothes Tailored to Your Look

A well-fitted interview outfit can elevate your interviewer’s first impression of you. Inone study from 2013, participants looked at photos of men in suits and decided which subjects looked more successful. They almost always chose the men with tailored suits.

You don’t need a custom suit or bespoke outfit to go to an interview. Instead, take the outfit that makes you feel most confident and head over to a tailor or clothing alteration business to make a few easy adjustments and find the best fit.

3. Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact early and naturally can communicate that you’re a smart communicator!A 2007 studyfound that something as simple as eye contact makes others believe you are intelligent.

For some of us, making eye contact with strangers is easier said than done, especially after a year of minimizing social contacts. The best thing you can do is go out and practice. Make eye contact with the Starbucks cashier, say hello to neighbors you don’t know, and put in more effort to make eye contact on Zoom or video calls.

4. Use Your Body Language

Open body languagetells others that you are powerful and occupying a space you deserve to be in. Standing or sitting up straight, moving your shoulder blades down your body, and slowing your breathing not only help you feel relaxed but project the right image to those around you.

Start Your Next Interview Off Strong in a Few Seconds

First impressions happen in the blink of an eye, but you can help people form better impressions of you by projecting the strong, intelligent person you know you are. Then, your interview’s first impression and second impression will be more closely aligned, giving them a fuller picture of why you could be a good fit for the job.

Are you looking for your next role? RightStone helps consultants like you find the right clients for your skills and personality. Get in touch to learn more about what it’s like to partner with a staffing firm.


Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

A few years ago, virtual interviews were the ‘future of recruitment.’ Today, they’re a necessity for employers who want to hire new team members. And if you’re looking for your next role, they are an asset.

Virtual interviews are those that take place using video conferencing technology. They’re not just a glorified phone interview: they allow both parties to parse the nonverbal cues you’d miss over the phone.

Are you staring into the face of yet another virtual interview? Here’s how you can ace it and win your next role.

Prepare Like It’s an In-Person Interview

Virtual interviews are in-person interviews, even if you’re not in the office. So rather than preparing for a preliminary chat like you might with a phone interview, treat it like a normal interview.

What does that mean? Think about potential questions, come up with helpful anecdotes, and write down your questions. You also need to dress the part, so make sure to come in your best business casual (at a minimum).

Test Your Technology Half an Hour Early

You wouldn’t be late for an interview on-site, and you definitely can’t be late for a virtual interview. There’s little leeway for tardiness if you don’t have to leave your house, so make sure you rule out everything that could get in your way beforehand.

The most common reason virtual interviews start late is because of a technology fail. To prevent that from happening, test out your speakers and microphone early. If you’re not familiar with the web conferencing tool, read a quick how-to before the interview starts. 

And if it’s an app, download it earlier in the day. Don’t be caught waiting for it to install when your appointment rolls around!

If you’re having any technical problems or you think there’s an issue on their end, acknowledge it. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t hear or see your interviewer well. It’s better to let them know than to try to fly blind.

Practice Your Pace and Tone

Given the role of the camera, many people focus solely on the video aspect of the interview. While your background, lighting, and appearance are very important, you shouldn’t forget to focus on the audio.

Lag, noise, accents, and other issues make virtual interviews trickier than asking a candidate into the office. To help them out, you should focus on speaking clearly and at a reasonable, natural pace. Use your pauses wisely and use your nonverbal communication to make it clear when you’re finished speaking.

Be Yourself to Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are a great way to speed up the recruiting process and save everyone time. They’re not a replacement for a final, in-person interview, but they’re a great substitute, particularly right now as companies try to hire while social distancing.

The best trick for virtual interviews is to treat them like a normal interview and prepare accordingly. Be early, know where you’re going, and above all, be yourself.

Ready to move forward?

Are you on the hunt for your next job? We can help you get there. Get in touch to learn what roles are available.


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