Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Impression Finesse

You have heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” right? It is doubly true when it comes to interviewing. That brief time you have in front of an interviewer (or interviewers) can make or break you. It is, therefore, in your interest to plan on locking up the job the first time. Here’s how.
  • Look the part: Just as it is wise to play two shots ahead in pool, it is equally prudent to dress two positions higher than the one for which you are applying. That generally means wearing a suit for both men and women. Be clean and well groomed, from the hair on your head to your toenails. Your confident smile and your well-executed handshake will also exude “it’s a mistake not to hire me.”
  • Know the part: So now that you look good; you must be halfway there, right? Wrong. Next you need to do your research. Know the ins and outs of the company to which you are applying. Study its history, business practices, press releases, market position, and competitors. And you had better know that position description backward and forward.
  • Be the part: You look good and you sound good: now, tie it together. Take your experience and demonstrate how you can solve problems and make strong contribution to the organization. Leave no question in their mind that they would be worse off without you.

Treat your interview with the same reverence as you would studying for a critical final and success will be yours!

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