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Create a lasting impression at your interview


It’s imperative you make an impact in the first few moments of your interview; this will dictate the rest of the meeting.

It starts the moment you arrive on site

Interviews usually start well before you greet your interviewer. It’s common for interviewers to ask the front of house receptionist for their first impressions and may also be watching you arrive from a nearby window. It’s important to make sure you don’t park in an unauthorised area and also never be discourteous to those you meet - being friendly and confident from the get-go is key!

It’s also popular for companies to go through the trouble of checking your social media channels such as LinkedIn or Instagram. It’s beneficial to check if you have any inappropriate photographs or mismatching information on your CV compared to your LinkedIn profile. It’s important to note that arriving early will give you a great opportunity to have a pause before the interview and break the ice with the receptionist – you never know, you may learn something to discuss during your meeting.

Make a lasting impression

First impressions count, make sure you smile and interact in a confident manner, shake hands firmly (but not aggressively) and make good eye contact with your interviewer. Linguistic mirroring can also be something to bear in mind and can really help you build rapport with your interviewers! It’s always good to remember that they have taken the time out of their busy schedule to meet you, so ensure you demonstrate a positive attitude. Would you hire someone who lacked energy or drive? Probably not!

Dress appropriately

Dress code is something many people take for granted in an interview, prepare for this by speaking to your consultant who deals with the client on a regular basis and will be able to give you advice on how you should dress to suit the business. You can also view the company website to get an idea of the culture and people who work there. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always best to wear a suit or a shirt/blouse, it’s better to be overdressed than under dressed.

Build rapport

Avoid talking politics or anything which could really turn sour, unless you are prompted to discuss it. Inevitably you want to let your personality shine through but voicing a bad opinion could really hinder your chances of getting that dream job. So as part of your interview preparation, it’s a good idea to think ahead to some of the likely topics that might come up. Speak to your consultant or do some research online about the company and the people who you’re going to meet, you never know you may share a connection or share a passion for a certain topic.

You can also prepare by researching whether the company has been in the news and have a few conversation topics ready for them around this. This will help elevate you compared to other interviewees who will likely be asking the normal questions. You want to be memorable for the right reasons!

Deliver your mission statement

It’s a good idea to have a few key messages that you want to make to your interviewers. ‘I’m ready for the chance to head up an Interim FP&A team,’ ‘I combine solid technical experience from my days in practice with robust commercial finance expertise in industry, in both permanent and interim management roles.’ These types of statements stick in the minds of the interviewers and hopefully leave a lasting impression.

A few things to avoid on your interview day:

- Arriving late
- Trying to cram in last minute information
- Bad mouthing past employers/colleagues
- Acting in a rude or arrogant manner
- Leaving your mobile phone turned on (rather leave your mobile phone in the car to avoid it going off midway through the interview)
- Chewing gum
- Displaying irritating mannerisms or portraying closed off body language
- Turning up wearing casual clothes such as jeans and a t-shirt
- Not shaking hands firmly 
- Talking in length about non-work related topics
- Voicing your own opinion on recent matters in the press (your opinion may not be the same as the people you are meeting)
- Not having an answer ready as to why you want the job
- Not being clued up on the business and what it does

To discuss your next career move, get in touch with us today, we have a national presence with plenty of useful market information to share. To view our current vacancies, visit our job pages.

Written by:

Nirmal Mistry
Temp, Interim & Contract - Midlands  
0121 231 7150

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