Your Most Important Job Interveiw Question Starts at Home

Can I recover from a bad first impression?

"Not likely", says Frank Bernieri, a social psychologist who has researched first impressions and specializes in non-verbal behavior at Oregon State University.

"As soon as someone lays eyes on you, they immediately make a first impression" and, for better or for worse, you're stuck with that initial assessment. "First impressions are liking planting a seed," Bernieri says. "When you shake someone's hand, you immediately make a judgment. Was it a good handshake? Was the person well-groomed? Are they attractive? Everything that happens after that point is anchored to that first impression and skews what we learn and perceive." "It's clear that taking the time to clean up and groom yourself absolutely matters." Now that you have your foundation here are some great job interview tips.

How to have a successful job interview in six easy steps:

1. Learn about the company. Find out as much as you can about the company and the position for which you will be interviewing. When you schedule your interview ask the person, who will I be speaking with? Will it be an HR person or your potential new boss? See if an Internet search brings up any useful information about that person. Are they the top sales person for the last five years or are they active in community groups or both?

2. What is the dress code? Make sure that you exceed the expectation. In most circumstances a suit and tie is always a safe assumption. If you have visited the company or taken a good look at their website, you can use this information in deciding what type of suit and tie will be appropriate. Is it a more corporate environment with lots of traditional dark blue suits, white shirts and red ties or is it more contemporary, lively patterns, brighter colors more fashionable? Visit a store with a good selection of mens dress shirts to see what looks good on you.

3. Choose three narratives that describe accomplishments you have made that are indicators of future success in the position you are applying for. They should be clear, concise and relevant. Accomplishments outside of the work environment can also be good indicators of a quality candidate. For example I just trained for and ran the Boston marathon and came in the top 5% of racers or I just completed 500 hours volunteering to teach children how to read.

4. Practice using your narratives to respond to likely questions, such as: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you want this job? Tell me about yourself. Where do you want to be working five years from now?

5. Get directions, an early start, a phone number incase of a problem and enough spare time to review your accomplishment narratives and arrive relaxed.

6. Pick out your outfit the night before, make sure that your suit, shirt, tie and shoes are clean, look good together and are ready to go. Sometimes it helps to know that you have worn a specific suit and tie before that made you look professional and confident. If it’s appropriate for this interview then wear it. If you need something new visit a discount retail store to help you save on appropriate interview attire.

A great tie knot to wear to a job interview is the Half Windsor Knot, here are some instructions for tying it.

Print Job Interview Skills