Smashing Your First Interview
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Personality profiling is an enormously helpful tool in determining the right role for you.
The old adage says ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and for good reason; it still holds true today.
Think about how many times in your personal life someone has really rubbed you the wrong way upon first meeting them. Often, you will come across this person in a social setting on a few occasions and discover later on that you do actually like their personality. However, in the world of business, you don’t get the chance to casually bump into your interviewer to have a do-over. Your first chance is your only chance to make a positive impression.
Personality profiling is an enormously helpful tool in determining what your dominant traits are. Depending on your personality type, certain roles will appeal to you naturally and are usually the best option in deciding on your career choices. When you apply for a role that requires certain qualifications you already possess, the more likely you’ll feel more at ease in the first interview.
A few things to keep in mind when preparing for your first interview are:
Dress the part - Be sure to scrub up before your interview. Pick out your sharpest outfit, get your barnet sorted, shine your shoes, etc. A big mistake candidates make is that they dress far too casually for the interview. Even if the dress code at the business is laid-back, show that you are a serious candidate by dressing the part. It shows respect for the person you are meeting with, and makes a great first impression.
Don’t be tardy to the party - Nothing says ‘I don’t care’ like showing up late for a scheduled meeting. Of course, there can be unavoidable circumstances that no one can prepare for. But easily anticipated situations like traffic and public transportation schedules should never be your excuse. Tools like Google Maps can be used to identify exactly how long it will take to get from point A to point B by car, bus, train or walking. The week before your interview, quickly check how long the travel time is each day to give you a good feel for typical delays. Remember, it’s better to be two hours early than two minutes late.
Toot your own horn - Don’t be afraid to highlight career milestones you have made. Bring a ‘brag pack’ that includes certificates, awards, reference letters and any document that shows how you have made a difference to the overall success of a business. IMPORTANT: do NOT bring confidential or proprietary information to the interview. Not only is it a possible violation of your current company’s employee guidelines, but it may reflect poorly on your prospective boss that you are willing to share sensitive information.
Crossing the line - Plenty of interview advice includes asking questions of the person conducting the meeting about the business culture. And yes, we encourage this as well. Where you may cross the invisible line is asking too many questions that have no bearing on the interview or the role, which can come across as somewhat contrary and could send up red flags about the kind of person you are to work with. No one wants to bring a difficult employee on board. Make sure your questions are relevant but not intrusive.
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