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Help for Job Seekers



First Impressions

Did you know that most employers have drawn their conclusion about you within the first few minutes of meeting you?  In the rest of the interview, they subconsciously seek to justify that impression. 

Unfortunately, this is also the time when you are likely to be the most nervous.  So what factors make a favourable first impression? 

  • Be pleasant to everyone on your arrival especially the receptionist or secretary as they may be asked what they thought of you!
  • Be punctual - if someone arrives late then it is obvious - they become flustered and look unprepared.
  • Personal presentation.
  • Walk into the interview room confidently and smile at the interviewer or panel.
  • Greet the interviewer with a smile, keep eye contact and offer a handshake.
  • When being interviewed by a panel - greet each panel member with a smile - usually one panel member will offer a handshake - this is often done by the person with the most seniority or the personnel manager.
  • Don't smoke during the interview.
    Sit comfortably in your chair by keeping your feet firmly on the floor - don't perch nervously on the edge.  Remember if you are uncomfortable it will show in your face

Body Language

During the interview the way you control your body movements can say a lot about you. 

  • It is best to keep your feet flat on the floor - do not cross your legs.  This is not just for comfort - short skirts and crossed legs can create the wrong impression.
  • Don't fold your arms in front of you as this is interpreted that you are not approachable or you are being defensive.
  • During the interview eye contact should be made regularly with the interviewer or with the panel members. 
  • Always look at the person when they are asking a question but do not continually stare - its a good idea to look away when you are thinking about your response.
  • If you understand what they are asking or telling you it is often a good idea to nod your head - this confirms to the questioner that you are listening and that you understand.
Communicating Clearly
  • Have you ever listened to a tape of you speaking and thought "God - is that me!"
  • Be aware of the way you speak - do you speak too fast or too slow. 
  • Don't worry if you have a dialect - you should speak naturally and don't sound posh if your not. 
  • The main thing is that your voice doesn't sound monotone (that means without variety and a bit dull) as this could be perceived that you have a dull personality. 
What you must never say . . . .
  • You need to sell yourself and that means indicating your abilities - but remember not to go too over the top. 
  • Never say anything bad about a previous employer as this will look like your not a loyal employee. 
  • Be honest - if they ask you if you know how to use a certain word processing software - don't lie - say no - but add that you would be willing to learn it or that you imagine that you would learn quickly as you have used other types of software.