First impressions are usually everlasting impressions. When you meet someone for the first time, you immediately decide what kind of person he is, whether he is educated or not, what he does for a living, what his social status is, and other issues that brand the other person and place him in a specific box. Other people, upon meeting you, also do the same thing even though we sometimes forget and try to stand by that people shouldn’t be labelled without knowing them.
Well, it’s a shallow world and people will see what you present to them.
When entering the workforce, newly graduated students are informed to wear a suit to your interview and make sure to go on time. They are right, it makes a big difference in your employ-ability rating (how employable are you.)
Some issues cannot be changed such as if the person you are meeting generalizes all women into being soft or all people who graduate from a certain college to be smart. Some generalizations may come to your advantage but you will never know which would fit your future boss.
So to make sure you are doing things the right way, at least in the perspective of many managers out there, make sure to follow these points when meeting someone for the first time, especially if you are going into a job interview.
1- Make sure you prepare for the interview in advance. Read about the company you are going to and know the position you are applying for (you’d be surprised how many people aren’t sure).
2- Make sure you know the means you will use to get to your interview and what route you will be taking. You don’t want the interview jitters to mix with traffic and a blank mind.
3- Print your CV and use a sheet protector to protect it. Make sure to keep an extra copy just in case there might be more than one person interviewing you.
4- Arrange what you will be wearing in advance. Give yourself a chance to go buy something just in case. Choose what you will wear wisely. This is very important, your clothes should fit you correctly, you need to make sure that your outfit is ironed, and you shouldn’t be running around last minutes looking for your other pair of shoes.
5- Read and review your CV. Yes you may have just written it but you might not remember all points listed. You do not want to be in a situation where the person interviewing you is asking when you graduated and you mix up your dates. This puts a big question mark on who actually wrote your CV which makes you an unreliable candidate.
6- Make sure that you get a good night sleep. You need to be fully rested. So ignore Netflix and get yourself into bed.
7- On the day of the interview, do something that relaxes you spiritually. You may choose to pray or meditate or call your mother for support. Do something that would give you an extra boost of confidence.
8- Make sure you care for your hygiene. Take a shower, use deodorant, brush your teeth, wipe your shoes, and put some – not overwhelming, perfume. Do not smoke before your interview, they can smell it on you and it’s not pleasant.
9- Get there at least 15 minutes before the interview. Give yourself some time to relax and get acquainted to your surroundings. When walking in, pay attention to the surroundings, they might give you some information about the company and how it functions
10- When your name is called, breathe, stand up straight, and with confidence walk into the room. Knock on the door, smile to the person you see, and go for a good handshake. In some cultures, males and females are not supposed to have any physical interactions so make sure you know the culture you are in too.
11- Sit when requested and look the part
12- Answer genuinely. Honesty is the best policy. Talk clearly and maintain eye contact. When you don’t know the answer to a question simply say that you don’t. It’s alright.
13- When given the chance, try to talk about your accomplishments as objectively as possible. You are simply stating facts so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
14- Show your interest in what the interviewer is saying. You need to listen attentively and respond accordingly. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DAYDREAM!!
15- At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and if you are not told what the next step would be, ask politely. One way would be, “would I be getting a call in either case of acceptance or rejection?”
16- Breathe: you can now daydream, take off your tie, get into your slacks, forget to shower, and simply be you.
Good luck 🙂