You only have one chance to make a first impression. This is important to remember when it comes to your job search. Most people think that when they interview for a position, it starts as soon as you sit down across from the interviewer. Well, most people are wrong!
Your interview actually starts as soon as you put your car in park. You never know who is in the parking lot with you or watching you walk into the building. If you bring a briefcase or portfolio with you, this is not the time to be digging through it or frantically organizing its contents. You want to walk in confident, not cocky, and ready to take on whatever is thrown at you.
Once you walk into the office and are greeted by the receptionist, make sure to treat them kindly. They will tell the person you are interviewing with everything, trust me! This is the perfect opportunity to hang up your jacket if you wore one. You want to make sure that you are comfortable and open during your interview and that is hard to do when you are messing around with an extra piece of unnecessary clothing.
As you’re waiting for your name to be called, pay attention to the way you are sitting. Sitting with your arms crossed in front of your chest makes you look cold and unwelcoming. This is not how you want to look when you are interviewing for a position that might change your life! I would also suggest not being on your phone. Now, checking your email for a moment or making sure it’s on silent is fine. But playing games or making a phone call is not professional. You want to give the impression that you are available and ready to work.
When you meet the person conducting the interview, the very first handshake can tell a lot about you. A firm, solid handshake tells others that you are confident and ready for anything while a sloppy, pathetic one tells them that you are weak and unprepared. I took a class in college that prepared me for interviews and life in the real world. The professor told us that it’s perfectly fine to try out our handshake with friends and family. Anyone who supports you will be happy to give you advice.
How you sit during your interview is almost more important that the words you say. You could be telling someone that you helped save 50 kittens and puppies from a burning building, but they won’t care about that if you are slouching or leaning on your elbow. You need to appear confident and interested. The best way to do this is to sit up straight, keep your hands in your lap, and maintain steady eye contact. I’ve heard stories from coworkers who had candidates keep their hands in their pockets the whole time or who slouched into themselves. This shows us that you are either hiding something or have some serious insecurity with yourself. If you are insecure or not sure of yourself, how can we be confident presenting you to a client of ours?
I think a lot of us can agree that leaving the interview can be the most awkward part of the whole encounter. You want to show your appreciation for someone taking the time to talk to you, but you don’t want to overdo it. As you’re standing up to leave, keep your head held high, smile, and offer a final firm handshake.
If you keep all of this in mind, your next interview will be a breeze and recruiters will be begging to work with you!
Jessica Hurley has been an Office Coordinator for Celebrity Staff since January 2017. Before working at Celebrity Staff Jessica worked for a local construction company as their Payroll Administrator and Human Resource Assistant as well as surviving four years in the retail world. In her time outside of work, she enjoys camping with her boyfriend, trying new restaurants, and curling up on the couch with a good book and her two cats.