How to Make a Good Impression at a Job Interview or Networking Event

It is a sad but true fact that human beings form an impression of each other very quickly at the first meeting and it can be very difficult to get people to change their minds once an opinion has been formed. The following tips will help you to make a positive impression at the first meeting.

The Vicious Circle of a Bad First Impression
Making a negative impression can create a vicious circle: people respond to you badly, which makes it more difficult for you to persuade them of your abilities. This gives your self-esteem a knock, which in turn makes you seem less competent and so on.

Making a good impression makes people think positively about you; they therefore transmit this positivity back to you giving you a confidence boost. This extra confidence allows you to perform at your best and get the most out of people.

Success breeds success: if people think your company is doing well, then they are more likely to make referrals for you and have confidence in your ability to do the job. Act like a success and people will think it is true.

When you go to a job interview, the interviewer wants the reassurance that you have the ability and experience to do the job well. If you show that you are confident in your abilities you will be able to transmit this to the panel of interviewers.

5 tips for Making a Great First Impression:

Your appearance is the first thing that people will notice about you. This isn’t about looking glamorous: dress appropriately for each event.

If you are going to a job interview think very carefully about the culture of the company you are going into. A smart business suit will send out the correct vibes at an accountancy firm, but may make you look stuffy at a digital marketing agency. If you are using a recruitment consultant, ask their opinion on what is appropriate: they will have visited the company and will have a better idea on what is expected.

At a networking event you need to be comfortable as you might be standing for a long time. You don’t want to look hot and bothered (and sweaty!). Think of the sort of client you would like to attract and what they might expect you to be wearing.

Arrive on Time
Arrive late to a job interview and you may as well not arrive at all. Arriving late to a business networking event can give you a disadvantage which you might carry through the whole event. It makes you look disorganised and arriving into a room where everyone has already started forming relationships can make your job harder. Get there early so that you can get settled and feel relaxed and welcoming as people arrive.

Use Confident Body Language
Yes this is easier said than done – but if you can be aware of the negative body language habits that you may have it can help you to overcome them:

  • Stand tall, don’t slouch.
  • Don’t fiddle with jewellery or your clothes.
  • Practise a firm handshake.
  • Maintain eye contact by looking at an area just below their eyes: looking people straight in the eye can actually be quite intimidating!
  • Talk calmly, don’t babble.

Ask Questions
People want to get to know a little bit about you, but more than anything they like to talk about themselves. Show an interest in the other person and ask questions: it shows that you are inquisitive and caring and goes a long way to winning people over. Small talk can be very effective in a job interview or business meeting.

At a job interview, this is your opportunity to show the company that you are interested and have done some research prior to the interview.

Smile and Have a Sense of Humour
No-one wants to talk to a robot so have a (genuine) smile ready and try to show you have a sense of humour, when it is appropriate, but that you can also be serious when this is required.

This is a guest blog by Jaguar White Recruitment, offering bespoke recruitment solutions to Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire: Harpenden, St Albans, Luton and Hemel Hempstead.