The first impression you make during an interview will be a lasting one. Whether you realize or not, an interviewer will notice just about every tic you have, every awkward fumble over words, the outfit you choose, and the vibe you bring to the table. You must be prepared, focused, and eloquent.
The handshake. This is everything. It is the first sense the interviewer will get from you. A firm handshake is key during interviews. Studies have shown that a good handshake can determine the entirety of the interview, and influences the opinion of the interviewer. Don’t break the interviewer’s hand, but give a firm, solid handshake, AND STAND UP WHEN THEY ENTER THE ROOM!
Eye contact. If you fail to keep eye contact throughout an interview, this can be seen as disrespectful, or immature. Stay focused, eyes on the interviewer.
Attire. If you have to ask if your outfit is appropriate, don’t wear it. Always dress business corporate during interviews. Dress all depends on specific company culture, but you are not a part of the company, yet. Arrive well-groomed and business appropriate. Ladies, this means watch your neck line and hems! Don’t go for anything too bright or bold, you want the interviewer to remember you, not your outfit.
Resume. DO NOT read from your printed out resume. The interviewer most likely has a copy of your resume that they have already read in front of them. It looks terrible to sit in an interview and read from your resume sheet. You should know your education and career history. The interviewer can read.
Knowledge of Business. Know the company inside and out. Read recent articles or news about the company and its functions. Having company knowledge and speaking up about it makes the interviewer realize you have done your homework, and are devoted to learning more about the company.
Ask questions. At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. DON’T SAY NO! Ask them about their position, how they got to the company, what interests them most about their position, ect. After being asked all of the questions it is your turn to show that you are interested and really want to know more about what they do at a certain organization. It is vital that you arrive prepared with questions to ask your superior.
Breathe. Take your time, don’t speed through answers. Remember to breathe before answering each question. Rather than saying, “Ummm… like…”, just take a breath. This will give you a short period to collect your thoughts and have a thoughtful, prepared response.
Take a look at mtvU’s segment called “Hire Learning”, where real life millennials are being secretly recorded during interviews:
- MTVU Helps Millennials Get Hired (forbes.com)
- Your handshake matters more than you might think: 10 different ways to shake one’s hand (thingscareerrelated.com)
- Five New Ways to Ask the Traditional Interview Questions (staples.com)