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First Impressions Last

August 30, 2021

Make a lasting first impression with potential employers by using JCAL’s top tips for candidates.

1. Be prepared

In advance, research the company you’re interviewing with and the responsibilities of the role. Read up on their website, check out their recent social media posts, and – if you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you – look them up on LinkedIn. Potential employers love it when an interviewee shows knowledge and passion for their business. Plus, the more you know about what they do – the more confident you’ll be, and the better equipped you’ll be answering their questions.

You could even role play answering questions with a family member or friend beforehand. Some common questions could include:

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What value can you bring to our company?
  • Where do you see your career in five years’ time?
  • Can you tell me an example of where you’ve had a positive outcome in the workplace?

2. Dress the part

After researching the company, you should have a pretty good idea of the appropriate attire for your interview. The way you might dress going for a role in a corporate office environment (a suit or business-style skirt or trousers with a collared shirt) may be different to how you’d dress if it was a job at a fast food restaurant (neat, smart trousers and shirt or blouse), for example. However, no matter the role or employer, always keep your outfit smart – No t-shirts, shorts, untucked shirts or unclosed shoes. If in doubt, it’s always best to dress up rather than down.

3. Arrive on time

Interview Etiquette 101: Don’t be late! Employee lateness can cost businesses hundreds of hours in productivity each year, so it won’t leave a great impression if you can’t even be on time for the first interview. If you can, leave home a little earlier on your interview day to allow buffer time for traffic or unforeseen public transport delays.

4. Smile and keep eye contact

A smile is the universal language of kindness, and how hard is it to resist smiling back? Even if you’re feeling nervous, a simple smile and maintaining eye contact throughout your interview shows you’re interested and engaged in what is being discussed. It helps tell a potential employer that you’re a friendly, approachable person who could fit in well with colleagues and be an asset to their business and customers.

5. Ask questions

Asking questions demonstrates an interest in the role and that you’re taking the interview seriously. The answers will also help you understand if this really is going to be the right job for you.

Some ideas include:

  • What does a typical day in this role look like?
  • Who would be in my team?
  • Who would be my manager?

6. Speak about your passions

Before your interview, have a good think about what attracts you to this particular job, and the value you feel you can bring to it. For example, if you’re interviewing for a role in a pet store, you’ll want to show you have a passion for animals, and that you enjoy talking to and helping customers. If you’re going for a job in as a designer or landscape artist, you’ll want to talk about your creative streak and your love of creating solutions.

We hope these tips are helpful next time you’re preparing for a job interview! And remember – while good manners are always received well, ultimately your career should reflect your own personal passions and personality, so it’s very important to BE YOURSELF. Because both employees and employers are always much happier when the right person is in the right role.

Reach out to our friendly, supportive team at Job Centre Australia if we can help you on your own personal journey toward meaningful employment.

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