How to Make a Good First Impression – Interview Tips

Studio 42 Workspaces   •   February 7, 2019

Good impression - interview tips

Seemingly out of the blue we find ourselves at the start of February, one month of the year already behind us. The sweet taste of summer holiday cocktails are long gone and the work week grind is in full swing. At this point some of us are beginning to get itchy feet, feeling suddenly uncomfortable despite the familiarity of the desk we have returned to. When you start to look around, you might find you are longing for a change of scenery in some way. But unless you are planning on venturing into self-employment, there is one big obstacle to overcome before landing your next dream role – the job interview.

Today we’ve got some expert tips to help you on your career quest from someone who has hired and onboarded hundreds of new recruits over a career spanning 35 years in the finance industry, Matt Hemmons. He has compiled his insider knowledge into 7 insightful and actionable tips for making a good first impression at your next interview.

1) Be punctual

Aim to be at your interview address 30 minutes early rather than 1 minute late. If all goes according to plan and you do arrive early then whatever you do don’t go straight to reception and announce yourself. Your interviewers ae likely to be busy and often will be seeing other potential recruits on the same day. Sitting in reception not only makes you more nervous but it tells them that you have nothing better to do. Remember, you’re the one for the job so act like that with your behaviour. Freshen up elsewhere and arrive at the interview 5 minutes before due.

2) Dress up not down for all positions

No matter what role you are applying for, whether inside or out, people will form an impression of you the moment they see you and well before you open your mouth. It is therefore imperative that you present yourself well and in a way that projects you as someone that cares about the way they are perceived.

3) Firm handshake

Whether you are male or female, or being interviewed by a male or female, it is vital that you look the Interviewer (s) straight in the eye and firmly shake their hand. Hold your gaze and the shake long enough to create the right impression but not too long as to overstay the welcome. In my experience many people fail at this point. The hand shake may be firm but they are looking at anything but me or the handshake is soft and clammy. If this doesn’t come naturally to you then practise it.

4) Speak clearly with straight back and head held high

You’ve come this far so you should be proud and confident in your ability. Don’t let things slip by slouching, fidgeting or looking around the room. Focus on the Interviewer and their questions with poise.

5) Do your research on the business you hope to be employed by

Once again, a fatal mistake if you don’t who you are talking to. Ask questions of the Interviewer around where they see their business going in the future. What are their goals and aspirations? Do you want to be part of that future? if you do, tell them how excited you are with their potential and how exciting it would be for you to join them.

6) Strengths & Weaknesses

You know your strengths and will tell them. You also know your weaknesses. Be prepared to share your biggest weakness and how you intend to overcome it. Umming and ahhing here is a killer. This is a common Interviewer question but it is amazing how many people are not prepared for it.

7) Conclusion of Interview

Thank all Interviewers for their time and let them know what a pleasure it has been to be part of the process. You are excited about the opportunity and hope to hear from them. Firm handshake again looking straight in their eyes and holding your gaze.

These 7 areas are all within your scope and control. Add a little enthusiasm combined with some subject knowledge and you will have the recipe for success.

About the Author

Currently Matt is the CEO and founder of ‘Unlock Your Mortgage’ and the creator of the ‘Mortgage Freedom Blueprint’