When interviewing for your dream job first impressions count. Research suggests that we form an impression of someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them. If you want to land a desirable job, then you need to make those seconds count.
Making a good impression begins with your communication with the company. This means crafting a well written cover letter and resume. Often applicants will neglect to include a cover letter but a many hiring managers will not even consider a candidate if it isn't included. It's important that each cover letter and resume is tailored for the specific job. Boilerplate resumes are usually obvious and will leave a bad impression. If possible include the name of the hiring manager, rather than a generic "Sir or Madam", as this demonstrates your interest in the role and that you have taken the time to research the company.
First impressions are formed more by non verbal cue rather than verbal ones. Studies suggest that non verbal cues have as much as four times the impact as verbal. This is why body language is critical to making a good first impression. You should also be courteous to any other employees that you interact with before the interview as you may be observed. Start the interview with a confident smile and a firm handshake. If the interviewer does not offer to shake hands don't be afraid to initiate one.
As the interview is taking place you need actively demonstrate an interest in what the interviewer is saying. This includes nodding your head, agreeing or disagreeing when appropriate and maintaining eye contact. During the interview keep your shoulders back as this will make you appear and feel more confident. You may appear more relaxed if you sit at a slight angle to the interviewer. Refrain from leaning too far back as this can make you seem to casual for the situation. Avoid fiddling with pens, paper or clothing during the interview. If you have a tendency to jiggle your hands or play with objects when you are nervous, then place your hands on your lap underneath the interview table.
The idea of needing to "dress for success" may seem a little outdated but you still need to pay attention to the clothing that you're wearing. Make sure that you are clean and have a neutral smell. Avoid using deodorants or perfumes which are to overpowering. Your clothes and shoes should be clean and well maintained. Refrain from wearing inappropriate jewellery such as nose rings or personalised necklaces. Men should wear a long sleeved shirt and no gimmicky ties. Women need to avoid very short skirts and should considering wearing a jacket look fully dressed for the interview.
You should never underestimate just how important the first impression you make is. 33% of interviewers said that they knew whether they would hire someone with in the first 90 seconds of meeting, according to a survey of 2000 hiring managers by College Atlas. Don't miss your opportunity to make a good first impression. It may just be the last one you have.