We’ve all been in that place of needing to make an effective first impression during an interview for a new job, or to meet with a superior for a potential promotion. Here are a few tips for acing that meeting.
1. Be On Time
“80% of life is showing up,” comedian Woody Allen has famously said. When you have an important first meeting, consider showing up early, so that you will definitely be on time. Nothing can detract from a potential employer’s view of you than lateness to an interview. If you can’t even show up on time when you aren’t working for them, why should they think you will if they hire you?
2. Be Positive and Confident
Employers want to handle people who can get the job done, and confidence builds trust. Also be positive, because nobody likes to deal with negative people. Both positivity and negativity are contagious, so if you are feeling upbeat and positive, your interviewer will probably view you in a better light.
3. Know Your Audience
Research the company (or department) beforehand so you can ask good questions of your own and come across engaged. People don’t want to hire someone who is just floating around and looking for whatever comes their way. They want to hire engaged employees that will help the company be successful.
4. Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst
Have good expectations about the outcome of the meeting, especially since that will help carry you through the interaction in a positive, upbeat way. After the interview, don’t get hung up on any blips in the experience, or obsessive about what they thought of you. If it turns out that they don’t want to hire you at this time, it wasn’t meant to be. Move on and find a company that deserves you. Also, make sure you bring a copy of your resume to interviews, in case they don’t have one.
5. Don’t Fidget with that Widget
Fidgeting with technology, or even moving to the sound of a ping, ding, or ring-a-ling lets potential employers know that you’re not totally engaged with what they’re saying, and poised to fly out the door any minute if something more interesting comes along. But even beyond that, also consider if you have any nervous ticks or behaviors that you should attempt to hold off, such as playing with your hair, adjusting your glasses, or saying “um” excessively. These behaviors can indicate nervousness or a casual attitude that might be unappealing to a potential boss.
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