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How to Make a Positive First Impression

First and Last Impressions are Key


Preparing for an interview can be very stressful but there are several tips that can make the whole process easier once you have an understanding of the goal.

What is the purpose of an interview?

Interviews are an opportunity for employers to learn more about potential candidates as well as a chance for the candidate to learn more about a specific company and what it has to offer. Too often students get caught up in the interviewing process and don’t realize that interviewing is a two way street.

What is the best way to prepare for an interview?

The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice, practice, practice. You can never practice too much. One of the best ways to practice is to do it out loud. Whether you choose to practice with a family member or friend, it’s the experience that matters and even practicing alone can provide some major benefits. It’s much better to make mistakes before you are actually in front of the interviewer rather than knowing what it is you want to say but being unable to articulate your answer.

When preparing for an interview it’s important to focus on good grooming as well as certain nonverbal behavior that can either make or break the interview. I always bring out the importance of the first and last minute of the interview. In the first minute you want to wow the interviewer and make a really positive first impression. If the first minute goes well and you answer the interview questions satisfactorily, the last step is to wow the interviewer again before you walk out the door.

Being prepared is key to any interview. Knowing what the employer is about and asking relevant questions regarding current affairs and the issues the employer is dealing with today will let the employer know that you have done your homework. By reading up on the mission of the organization as well as how you see yourself fitting in, can help bridge the gap for the employer as they too identify why you are an excellent candidate for the internship or the job.

In preparing for any interview you will also want to have a list of things that you want the employer to know about you before the interview is over. Say if you have done some outstanding work on a project or if you can demonstrate great leadership skills in college or on a job, you will want the employer to learn about this over the course of the interview. Knowing when to vocalize your unique qualities in a way that will help the employer learn a little more about you is one trick of learning how to be successful in an interview.

Behavioral Interview quesitons:

Students must also be prepared if the interviewer asks behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions are based on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior and by learning about a how a candidate handled a situation in the past will give the employer an indication on how they will handle a similar problem in the future.

At the end of any interview it is important to have some great questions prepared for the employer. You may want to learn more about the internship or job or you might be interested in finding out what expectations the employer has of a new candidate who is just coming through the door. The key is to have several questions prepared for the interviewer in order to show them that you have really thought about their mission and how you will be able to meet their expectations by utilizing your knowledge and skills to help the company achieve its goals.

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