This article is the second in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Our first post covered the importance of company research in your preparation for a job interview, today we’ll share how to create great first impressions. Check back into the blog for more tips on preparing for a job interview.
Remember that a first impression only takes seconds, and you don’t get a redo. That means, how you present yourself online, look, smell, carry yourself, and speak – as well as what you say and bring to the table – all play a part in the interview process. Read on to learn about how to make a good first impression and to download our First Impressions Checklist.
What does your online first impression look like?
First impressions can actually happen before you even walk in the door. As we suggested that you check out a potential workplace online, many potential employers are doing a simple check of your online profiles as well. Public profiles and online articles are available for anyone to view and play a part in their first impressions of you as a potential employee.
Note: Employers are still required to follow employment rules such as anti-discrimination laws, background check laws, and off-duty conduct laws. But, it is still wise, to give your public profiles a once-over before applying to jobs.
Be ahead of the game and smart with your social media presence:
- Make a LinkedIn account and request up to date references from friends and colleagues for your profile. In conjunction with this, make sure that your LinkedIn profile has up to date employment information.
- Make sure you look professional in all of your social media profile pictures, especially your on your LinkedIn. A smartphone photo is fine, just make sure your attire and posture look professional.
- Make sure to privatize or delete any pictures or posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blog platforms, online photo albums, and YouTube, that you would not want a prospective employer to see.
- If you have a blog you are proud of that has to do with the profession in which you are applying make mention of it.
Mastering a Great First Impression Look
While no one wants to suggest you change yourself for a job, each company will have guidelines for appearance based on their industry and standards. Considering those standards before your interview will show potential employers that they will not have issues with you regarding their attire policies. Extra effort in your appearance may also make it appear that you are going to give extra effort on the job. As the saying goes, “Dress for the job you want.”
For appearance, make sure that you are clean and have dry hair that is neat and presentable. Dress appropriately for the interview. If the company at which you are applying has a very relaxed dress code, they may tell you not to show up in sharp interview attire, in which case, business casual is a good bet. But never assume that casual wear will be fine for an interview.
What to Bring to your Interview
Once the look and all that goes with it are good, make sure you bring all the right stuff. Make sure you have:
- A professional bag, briefcase or purse
- Work history information
- Reference contact information
- Your personal information
- Copies of your resume and cover letter
- A notepad that is nice for an interview
- A couple of pens for taking notes
Be Genuine, Be Polite
The next areas to focus on for setting a good impression include facial expression and body language. A potential employer wants to know the authentic you, so it’s not a good idea to put on a fake smile, but it is wise to show that you are optimistic, warm, and friendly.
When you arrive for your interview, it should be no less than 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Make sure to check in and let them know that you have arrived. While waiting, you may be tempted to retreat into your phone, but try to resist that. If you see a waiting room book or magazine, that would be a better choice. Remember to have good posture and maintain a pleasant disposition while waiting. If you look bored and/or tired, that doesn’t reflect your readiness. Also, make sure your phone is on silent. An interview is not the time for texting or chatting on the phone.
Make a good impression in your Senior Living interview
Making a good impression at your senior living job interview is similar to any other job interview. Consider what the elderly people in your life may think of your attire and presentation. Perhaps take the time to shadow a position you are interested in and take note of how the team members you feel are doing a great job are conducting themselves. Taking a moment to think about these things will prove fruitful in your overall job search, and make you look like the perfect candidate to join a senior living team.
In all cases, being yourself is absolutely imperative in order to make a great first impression. You want your potential employer to hire YOU and not a version of you that won’t be around a week after hire.