How important are first impressions?

By January 1, 2015For Talent
If you walked into an office for the first time and didn’t know what type of business was based there, what could you tell? The magazines on the coffee table in the waiting area would give you a clue, so would everything else in the room. And when you met the CEO, you’d have some idea of the size of the company. Straight away you would have the first idea how comfortable, or not, you would be working there.
In much the same way, the first impression you give at a job interview lets your employer know how suitable you might be to the company. Of course, a good first impression can be quickly undone but that’s not to say it isn’t important.
Online
As Stuart McHugh, founder and CEO of News Access, says, many first impressions come online now. Be it personal social media or your profile on Jobbio. ‘If someone is going to have a social media presence of their own, it’s important that they come across as a reasonably respectable, well-rounded person,’ says Stuart. ‘There’s nothing worse than when you are doing a background check and they look like maniacs on their Facebook page.’
That goes doubly for your professional online presence, where your first impression can really count.
 
Body language
Smile and make eye-contact. It sounds simple but when you’re feeling the nerves in the waiting room, it can be easy to forget that the interviewer is a person too and will find it easier to interact with an open, friendly person.
Dress to impress
There’s a tale told in the Jobbio office of an interviewee who was in the process of shaving with an electric razor when he was called into an interview. This person understood the importance of their appearance as a first impression but lost points for their execution. Many companies don’t have strict dress codes but it is always better to err on the side of caution when dressing for an interview. No one ever lost an opportunity because they were too well turned out.
Do your homework
You know that classic interview question, ‘why do you want to work for us?’ You should have an answer to that before you walk into the interview. Research the company and their mission statement. If you can, there is no reason you shouldn’t try to use their product or service beforehand. Of course that’s easier with a cafe than an accountancy firm, but you should be familiar with the company as much as you can.
James McElroy from House My Dog, the ‘AirBnB for canines’, says that one candidate caught their eye by really doing her homework. ‘Something as simple as starting a profile on our site helps but one girl had actually gone out and spoken to dog owners to see what they thought of the site. We thought that was really cool.’
Don’t listen to people who say first impressions don’t count
First impressions aren’t the be all and end all of interviews but they do count. Everyone appreciates that they can be a nerve wrecking experience but if you can overcome that and put the best of yourself forward it can make all the difference at decision time.

 

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  • vanessa says:

    I am an extremely hard working and friendly individual who enjoys communicating with others from different cultures and background, i am highly self motivated and outgoing, i have never had a job but am looking for any type of job right now.

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