September 7, 2017

You’ve heard it before: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true of job interviews, in which your interviewer could decide whether or not you will be a good fit within 10 minutes of meeting you. As you can imagine, this makes the first 10 minutes of your interview extremely important for landing your next job!

So, what can you do to wow your interviewer and present yourself as the talented professional you are? Just follow these top industry tips to take your interview from so-so to sensational — and help secure that callback!

Six ways to make the first minutes of your interview count

  1. Know how to answer key questions. Plan to impress in the first 10 minutes of your interview, when these common questions (or versions of them) may be asked:
    1. Why do you want this job? Do your research and know how your unique skills and experience make you a valuable fit for the job opening. Plan a short story that showcases your career aspirations and how this role fits into them.
    2. Why are you a good fit for this company? Job descriptions will generally include information about company culture, but if they don’t, you can surely find this on social media or the corporate website. Explain how you are a great match for the company.
    3. How can you help us/why should we choose you? This is your chance to position yourself as a problem solver. Remember that you are interviewing for a job; you’re there to sell, sell, sell, and explain to them how you can help their business.
    4. So… tell me about yourself. This answer should include a short story about why you chose your career and why you love it. Then you can briefly touch on where you’ve worked, why those roles were significant and why you’re excited about this job opportunity.
  2. Once you have the answers to common interview questions, practice them until you feel comfortable.
  3. Practice your confident handshake. Not too weak and not too firm! Practice your handshake with a friend, colleague or family member to be sure you have it right. Then plan to shake hands with people when you meet them at the beginning of your interview.
  4. Dress the part. How you present yourself matters, and it’s the first thing an interviewer will notice about you. Wear a seasonally appropriate suit, clean shoes, and for women, minimal jewelry and makeup.
  5. Enter the building “in character.” Imagine you’re on stage as soon as you get out of your car. Be upbeat, confident and friendly from the very beginning.
  6. Stay positive. You’ve worked hard and should be proud of your accomplishments. There’s only one you, and you have skills to offer that others do not.

Remember to follow-up

First impressions are key but not everything. Even if you do a killer job at your interview, it’s always important to follow-up. Send an email or card to everyone who interviewed you and extends your sincerest thanks.

Looking for your next interview?

If you don’t get the job, your interview was still good practice for what’s to come. And if you’re looking for a new job in the Tri-State area, contact Inter-Connect. We place qualified candidates in Office/Clerical, Industrial, Technical and Professional/Managerial positions, and we’ll work with you to find an opportunity you love. To learn more, contact us today!

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