If you are here it means that you have been called for a job interview, that you will soon meet the recruiter, and you will have to convince him that you are the right candidate for that position.
Meanwhile, congratulations! You have been chosen among a mountain of candidates and this is already a great first milestone: on the “paper” (and perhaps after a quick first phone call), you were interesting enough to deserve the time and attention of the recruiter in a real own interview.
You are one step away from the finish line. It’s time to get ready for the next step, and I guess you’re wondering what you can do to best deal with it and impress the recruiter.
I’m about to give you 19 tips that will help you look good at the interview and that will ensure that the recruiter, or whoever will conduct the interview, will remember you.
How to create a good first impression
One of the most important moments in a job interview is the first few minutes. That’s when you have the opportunity to make a good – or a bad – first impression with the recruiter.
A lot of research confirms that already in the first 30 seconds most of the recruiters can understand (or it would be better to say that they are convinced they have understood) if that candidate has a chance of being hired or not.
First impressions play a fundamental role, if not the central role, in influencing the recruiter’s perception of you as a candidate, and consequently the idea they will have of you once the interview is finished.
Whatever you say or do in the initial phase of a job interview can make a big difference in the outcome of this, for better or for worse.
You certainly don’t want to appear embarrassed or lacking in interpersonal skills by dealing with him inappropriately and unpleasantly. Rather, you will want to show that you feel comfortable because you have the professionalism and personal characteristics such as to be an asset to the company, and that for this reason you are convinced that you have a good chance of being hired.
So, now that you understand that many recruiters may exclude a candidate due to a bad first impression, you need to make sure you don’t make mistakes as stupid as they are serious like:
- be late
- don’t shake hands
- to dress inappropriately given the context or position you are applying for
- being glued to the phone before the interview, instead of observing the environment and looking for the right charge
- check your phone during the interview
These are all things that could make the recruiter think that you have no interest and that you lack commitment, dedication, and “discipline”; qualities they will not like.
Small things can make huge differences in the interview. For this, you must pay attention first to good manners to present yourself flawlessly in front of the recruiter.
We all know that the recruiter needs more than a few seconds to really understand if you have what it takes as a candidate or not, but this does not mean that it is essential to give a good impression of yourself in the first minutes of the meeting. And, of course, you will have to make sure that you maintain this good image of yourself throughout the duration of the job interview.
Here are tips to make a perfect figure with the recruiter.
Before the interview
The practice is always necessary before an interview, even if you feel very confident. Review your resume, work history, studies, and qualifications so that when you are asked a question about your career, your answer is in line with what you wrote in your CV.
Review the other possible questions the recruiter might ask you, about your strengths and weaknesses, your aspirations in the job, and so on, prepare a compelling answer for all the frequently asked questions.
Choose the right outfit
It would be really awkward if you showed up for a job interview in an outfit that was too formal or too casual.
Do some research on the company, and employee dress code and dress appropriately. By appropriate I mean something slightly more refined than the clothing you would wear on a normal working day in the new company,
Study the company
Do not appear unprepared in front of the recruiter when he asks you if you know the company. Take the time, before each interview, to research to find out more about the sector in which the company operates, the mission, the culture, the various partners, competitors, and so on.
Knowing this type of information will indirectly confirm to the recruiter that, precisely because you are committed to studying the environment where you might work one day, you have this opportunity at heart.
Look for some “scoop”
In addition to visiting the corporate website and reading general information about the company, do a search that takes you deeper; go in search of some less ordinary details.
You may be surprised to find that someone you know works or collaborates with the company and then you could contact them to exchange information. You cannot know what you will discover and how this will be useful to you; but it is certain that if you look for nothing, you will not find anything.
Study the job advertisement
Reading and studying the job posting can give you the awareness and confidence you need to conduct a great job interview.
Knowing exactly what the company is looking for allows you to formulate answers that are in line with what the company wants and, at the same time, it helps you to think about the right questions to ask the recruiter to resolve your doubts about the location offered.
Knowing what the objectives of the company are, allows you to clarify yours too and show if they are in line with what the recruiter is looking for.
Know the breeder
As with the employees and managers of the company, I recommend that you search LinkedIn to understand who is the recruiter who will conduct the interview. It is useful to know what background your interviewer has, so you can also get an idea of whom he might be.
Again, you don’t know what you’ll find out and how this will help you. The best way to reduce stress is to be prepared, to have fewer negative surprises during the interview.
So before the interview, you don’t just need to make sure you have studied the company thoroughly, thoroughly, and understand what kind of candidate they are looking for – re-read the ad several times and if in doubt do additional research on the role and the tasks, but also do research on the recruiter. The more you know, the more you will be aware of what to expect during the interview.
Beware of perfume, aftershave, etc.
A little perfume is fine, but keep in mind that not everyone may like the perfume you wear, so don’t overdo the doses, or you risk annoying the breeder and this will compromise the interview.
Avoid sticky sweaty hands
No one takes pleasure in shaking such a hand. If you are the type of person who tends to sweat a lot, go to the bathroom to wash your hands before the start of the interview. If necessary, use some product that will help you reduce, at least for that occasion, the stress of having wet palms.
When you meet the staff and the recruiter
Treat everyone with respect
When you arrive at the place of your job interview, remember to introduce yourself with adequate warmth to the person who will welcome you. Secretarial staff, receptionists or anyone else it doesn’t matter: be friendly, say your name and why you are there, such as: “Hello, I’m Marco Rossi, I have an appointment for a job interview with Mr. Pietro Verdi at 15 “.
Many recruiters, once the interview is over, ask the person or persons who welcomed the candidate, the first impression they had. In short, even if the interviewee does not observe you, they do observe you for him.
If you are arrogant or rude to the staff and extremely polite to the recruiter, they will think you are fake and will not trust you.
Welcome the recruiter properly
You may have to wait a few minutes before meeting the recruiter. For example, you could be joined by the recruiter at the reception, in the waiting room, or accompanied to a dedicated office.
If you are sitting, stand up to “welcome” him and remember to always offer your hand for the shake, even if he or she doesn’t do it first. Even if you both know why you are there, take the time to introduce yourself to the recruiter and thank him for the opportunity of the interview: “Hello, I’m Marco Rossi. Thanks for the invitation “.
Show confidence and ease
No matter how agitated you are: focus on the aspects of yourself and your story that you know are valuable, and find the security you need with them.
Repeat in mind: since I have this and this other experience/characteristic, then I am a good candidate, and I am deserving of the job. But this is not enough: it aligns the mind and body! Get in a nice posture, shoulders straight, take a deep breath, and smile at the recruiter when he comes towards you.
Appearing adequately confident in yourself (without being haughty, arrogant), gives your interlocutor the confidence of having a capable and determined person in front of you.
If you are indeed a good candidate, but you don’t believe you can do it yourself (and you convey it with your attitude), he will certainly doubt his positive evaluation even if your story provides him with valuable elements to judge you as a good candidate.
Lots of recruiters value handshakes. I have already mentioned that when the recruiter calls you or invites you to enter his/her office, you will have to offer your hand even if he/she does not.
However, a good squeeze improves the agreeableness of this first meeting. If you don’t know how to shake a hand, observe yourself doing it. And if you find that you have an excessively loose or “fleeting” grip, practice to improve its effectiveness. It is not difficult to control and improve this behavior of yours. With little effort, you can get great benefits.
During the interview
Are you inside you grateful and excited about the opportunity to have that place? Then show adequate enthusiasm. But remember that it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it too.
A candidate who speaks slowly, softly, and with uncertainty will never convince anyone. So, be confident as you speak, mention your experiences with participation and the right passion.
This way, you will make it clear that you have a positive spirit and welcome challenges and events with a positive and constructive attitude.
Make a good introduction to yourself
Give a short and concise presentation of yourself. You will have the opportunity to introduce yourself for a few minutes at the beginning of the interview: the recruiter will most likely begin the interview with a question such as “Tell me about yourself”.
Don’t miss the chance to make a nice presentation of yourself that highlights your path and the most significant moments. To answer this question you will need to focus on the most significant elements of your background, from training to the stages of your professional growth.
Show in this short story the things that will allow you to excel at the job you are applying for. Once again: when telling your “elevator pitch”, don’t forget to convey confidence and enthusiasm.
I have dedicated an in-depth study to this topic right here: “When the recruiter asks: tell me about yourself”.
Bring facts, not just enthusiasm
Being enthusiastic and energized won’t get you the job. To convince the recruiter that they will make the right choice by choosing you, remember to talk about your qualifications and experiences by bringing the facts: tangible situations in which you have acquired or exercised your skills they need.
This is a very important point of a job interview, many candidates believe that it is enough to make a list of their qualifications, titles, and previous jobs, to show the recruiter that you are in line with the requirements of the offered position, but the reality is that the recruiter will not be satisfied with this.
He will not take your word for it when you tell him that you are particularly good at marketing activities or a good team player: you will need to give him concrete examples of how you have worked on certain occasions.
Be prepared for the questions that will follow your presentation
The recruiter will prompt you with numerous other questions, and with your answers, they can go deeper.
You must know how to expand, argue, and remember with confidence and accuracy all the statements you made during your elevator pitch (see points 14 and 15). Don’t contradict yourself!
Be prepared to bring specific examples of how, when, and how you did a certain activity or participated in a certain project.
Ask the interviewer questions
To ask the right questions to the recruiter during the interview, you will need to prepare: search for information about the company, study the job offer, search for information on the person who will interview you.
This research will stimulate doubts or curiosity. It will be a way for you to investigate the role you may be called to fill, and to understand if it actually reflects your career expectations.
But above all, it will help you find some interesting questions to ask. In this way, in the job interview, you will find an extra weapon to convince the recruiter that you are a good candidate.
Conclusion of the interview
Don’t let your guard down
Some candidates behave flawlessly throughout the interview, only to completely forget about manners at the end of it.
This doesn’t mean that you have to distort yourself or look like a “stuffed penguin”.
However, behave in a professional way, appropriate to the situation, at every stage of the interview, from start to finish, even if you feel that there is a particular feeling with your interviewer.
And after finishing the interview, remember to offer your hand for the shake and thank you again for the time he has given you.
Follow up after the interview
Although it is not mandatory, one last move to make a good impression with the recruiter is to write him a very short email to thank him for the opportunity he gave you, and renew your interest in the open position.
Do not underestimate these last tips: you must be flawless throughout the selection process, and not just in front of the recruiter.