Nail Your Interview – How to Make A Great First Impression

So you’ve landed an interview – great news! You know that this job is made for you, but how do you convince the hiring manager that you are a better fit than the other candidates? If it’s an in person interview, you will likely have a short amount of time to convince the team to hire you, so here are a few tips to make a great first impression and get a leg up on the rest of the competition.

Know What They’re Looking For
Every interviewee has at least a general idea of what the position they’re interviewing for will entail, but you’ll have a distinct advantage if you take the time to study the job description thoroughly. We aren’t quite suggesting that you memorize the job description word for word, but you do want to try and remember the phrases used to describe the job’s duties. Try to work these same phrases in to your answers when discussing how past projects relate to the current position’s responsibilities.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Job descriptions don’t always provide as many details about the open position as we would like. Instead of fumbling through the interview as the hiring manager slowly reveals more about the position, it’s certainly okay to politely ask the interviewer for further clarification. If you are a fuzzy on the specifics, you can simply say something like, “I noticed that the job description seemed to mostly focus the skills needed for this position. Could you please tell me a bit more about the specific job duties the successful candidate will be performing?” The more information you know about the position, the more targeted your answers can be.

Time May be of the Essence
Pay close attention to your interviewer’s demeanor. Do they seem rushed or more leisurely? The higher up the person interviewing you is within in company, the less time they’ll have to speak with you in detail. Have a shorter, more succinct version of your accomplishments ready in case you only have a few moments to show them why you’re the person for the job.

Look for Common Ground
Running a simple Google or LinkedIn search on the hiring manager can reveal a good amount of public details. Do you share common ground with the interviewer, like having the same alma mater or a similar interest in community volunteering? If the interview has a more casual atmosphere, it will be in your favor to try and work any common ground into the conversation in a polite, non-forced manner. Most people like to surround themselves with individuals they share similarities with, and if your skills are excellent, this could be all you need to beat the competition.

Do you have more ways to stand out in an interview? Leave us a comment and share your tips!

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