Preparing for a job interview is both exciting and scary. You want the company to like you, but you want to make sure you understand and like the job as well.

Thirty-three percent of bosses make their hiring decision within the first 90 seconds of the interview. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to influence that decision.

Take a look at these essential tips for nailing your first interview.

Make a Strong First Impression

Remember those first 90 seconds? You can win the job simply by making a great first impression.

Employers look for a variety of things when you first walk in the door. Make sure you:

  • Are dressed professionally, no matter the job
  • Make excellent eye contact
  • Have a firm, professional handshake
  • Are appropriately groomed

Of course, none of that will matter if you don’t arrive to the interview on time. Be sure to leave plenty of time for traffic, weather, and other unexpected obstacles.

Research the Company

When you arrive at the interview, you expect that the recruiter has read your resume. They also expect that you will know and understand the organization.

Take time before your interview to research the history of the company, where it was founded, and where its current offices are. Find out who their customers are and be familiar with its products and services.

The purpose of your research is to be able to describe how you can fit in and help the business succeed. Be aware of recent news and current business challenges, as well as how you can make a difference.

Ask Questions in Your First Interview

At the end of your interview, the manager will ask if you have any questions. You should always have questions!

Your research of the company may have yielded some topics to ask about. Other than that, you can ask questions that come up during the interview, or ask about the position itself.

The goal of asking questions isn’t just to impress the interviewer. You also need to ensure the position and the company are the right fit for you. Ask about a typical day on the job, important qualities the employer is looking for, and more.

Always Give Examples of Your Skills

Stories have a way of connecting with people, and numbers and facts can be impressive as well. When you describe yourself as having a particular trait, demonstrate it with a story or example.

Of course, you don’t want to be long-winded, but be sure to back up your assertions. You can talk about a difficult situation you handled, specific sales results you achieved, and other similar illustrations.

When you give specifics about your accomplishments and personality, the interviewer won’t create his or her own interpretation of what you said. It will also add credibility to your statements and show that you’re prepared for the first interview.

Don’t leave your first interview to chance. Have your resume expertly prepared and be ready for any questions the manager might bring up. Also, don’t forget to send a thank you note!

For more information on preparing for interviews, contact us for a free consultation today.

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