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Your First Impression Is Your Last Impression

Ace the interview: Make your first impression great, make it count, and make it last.

Each day we are judged by our appearance; our skills and talents; our present and past, etc.

That’s why when you are interviewing with an employer, it is important to make a great first impression that will convince the employer to either hire you or refer you to another position within the company (if the original opening is not the right fit).

You see—the hiring manager’s impression of you is critical and it will be made within the first few minutes of meeting you.

Let’s run with a dating analogy for a moment. Let’s imagine you met someone on a dating site (it’s a new world); you and that ‘person-of-interest’ decide to meet at a specific location. Upon arrival, you discover that this person is not as interesting as you anticipated. It is the same concept with employers; maybe your resume inspired interest but when you showed up for the interview there was a disconnect.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION DURING YOUR INTERVIEW

1. Be Prepared

Luck favors the prepared. Throughout my professional career, I find that those that have prepared the most make the best impression. When you prepare for an interview, you are confident and ready.

Learn as much as you can about the employer, position, and review questions online to help you ace that interview.

2. Polish Your Presentation.

Your appearance transcends by way of a welcoming greeting, professional appearance, confident demeanor, and body language. In addition to verbal communication—facial expressions and gestures you make say a lot about you. There are a multitude of ways your presentation can either engage or disengage the interviewer.

3. Be Human.

Be open about your areas of development. Employers appreciate when you are a leader who is in constant-growth mode. Being able to showcase that you are that leader who self reflects and constantly take stock of development gaps, makes you a future-focused leader. Be honest, but don’t shortchange yourself by diminishing your achievements.

4. Show Them You Can Be Led.

Employers are like scouts looking for the best talent to manage their teams and be part of their team, and so they are evaluating your ability to adapt.

Making the cut, beyond qualifications, depends heavily on your ability to convey that you’re going to be team-oriented within your leadership cohort and trickle that team-based approach down to your direct reports.

In other words, are you a leader who can be led? Your willingness to be coached as an executive and open to advice will position you favorably.

BONUS TIPS TO HELP YOU ACE YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW:

  1. Sell your self—focus on your talent and how the company will benefit by hiring you.
  2. Research the company – your ability to talk about the company will give employers assurance that you invested time to understand their needs.
  3. Dress accordingly – consider an outfit that is not a distraction from the interview process.
  4. Build rapport – establish a friendly and sincere connection with the interviewer by engaging –not just answering questions.
  5. Stay calm – your ability to exude stability and confidence will help you project true leadership.
  6. Provide references – have a list of solid reference who can speak to your expertise and character.
  7. Follow up – send an email thanking the interviewer for their consideration. More importantly, use this opportunity to reinforce your candidacy and bridge any gaps.
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