No one is going to give you your next job or promotion just because you are qualified. There are lots of people who are qualified. The one that gets the job is the one that makes the best first, second, and third impression. The one who fits in best with the rest of the team is the person who gets the job.
There are two ways you make a great first impression.
The first part is physical – the way you look when you step through the door.
- Smile. A real smile that starts in your eyes and moves to your mouth. Even if you are nervous at least pretend to smile. You will grow into it if you try.
- Dress the part. Look like you will fit in. Dress a little better than the others. Wear a suit and tie.
- Body language that shows that you mean business. That includes great eye contact, a strong handshake, and great posture. No slumping. Sit straight like your mother taught you. Look the other person in the eye with a twinkle and smile in your eyes and extend your hand in a positive gesture of friendship. Not a wimpy, wet handshake but a strong grip.
The second part is confidence that comes from inside you – from being prepared, from knowing you are the right person for the job.
- Know what you want and why you should have it. No one can do that for you. Do not look at the interviewer for the answer. You will not do anything. Deep inside you is your secret desire for a particular role in which you know you will excel.
- Have a great response to “tell me about yourself” that expresses who you are and what you can do for the team. You have one minute to give a 30,000 foot overview that draws a dotted line between your experience, what you bring to the table and the job you want.
- Be confident. Not smarmy, cocky, or aggressive but a calm that comes from being prepared.