How to Make a Lasting Impression in Interviews

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A lasting impression helps you stand out.

The first impression is made in less than a minute, even before a person opens his mouth. This is mostly based on one’s physical appearance. We are living in a visual society so how you look makes the first perception in the mind of the interviewer. Leaving a positive impact with appearance is easy and in your hands. Here are a few tips- Wear dark or neutral colors. Avoid bright colors as they are distracting. Aim for simplicity- wear clothes with clean, classy lines. Avoid rings, bracelets and necklaces. Avoid using strong deodorant or perfume.

Thereafter impression depends on sitting postures. Your posture can convey confidence or insecurity. Sit up straight and send the message that you are comfortable and confident.

Eyes also play a significant role in making the impression. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. In addition, be sure to make eye contact with everyone in the room. If you focus all of your attention on one person, you will not engage other interviewers.

Movement of hands too influence the perception of the interviewer. Avoid fidgeting because it is extremely distracting. Use your hands to express yourself, but do so in moderation.

Finally what and how one speaks leaves maximum impact of the impression. Be clear and direct. Avoid the use of filler words between phrases or sentences. Expressions such as “ain’t”, “She don’t,” “me and my friend” are not appropriate. Be sure you speak in complete sentences and that tenses agree.  Do not ramble. Slow down, calm your nerves, and think before you speak. Silence is acceptable. When you finish making your point, stop!

Do your homework

Practice, practice and practice! Do not try to memorize answers to specific questions. Otherwise your answers will not be specific and will not fit properly with the question. Most people are unaware of how they actually sound. Record your answers and listen them.

If you don’t sound like you’re interested in your own words, why would anyone else be interested?

You should arrive a bit before the scheduled start time. This will allow you time to gather your thoughts and review your notes of accomplishments, strengths, and questions for the interviewer. Don’t forget to take extra copies of your resume and references in case you are asked for them, and a notebook and pens to take notes while you are there.

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