First impressions matter for good and bad. This is something everyone needs to understand before entering a job interview and meeting a new person. Typically, you are sized up between 30 seconds and two minutes when entering an interview situation. As in life in general, first feelings are always the most natural. Therefore, we encourage you to read these helpful words and we hope they will give you thoughts of support and open you a door to success when looking for your first job or new career path.

Let’s start with the basics – 4 things that matter most

1. The Importance of Being on Time. In history, you can find many great persons who have been spoken about the importance of being on time. For George Washington, the first President of the United States, this was considered a way of showing respect to others. Being late tells in an interview a lot about you; not only your disrespect for other people, but also about your integrity and work ethic. It indicates that you think your time is more important and valuable than anyone else’s. All in all, two places you never want to be late are a job interview and the job itself.

2. The Importance of Being Present. Being on time is a good start and it helps you to build a positive first impression, but if you want to make a good first impression you need to be present and show it. A hearty handshake together with a proper eye contact and smile on your face tells that you are honored to meet the interviewer and you are there to focus on her/him and the company. Be aware that during the interview you cannot be attracted to your mobile phone. Keep your phone on silent and out of sight while one glance at your mobile phone can kill your further opportunity. Live in the present moment and be present – without your mobile phone.

3. The Importance of Pre-study. Pre-study of the company and the open position opens you the door to quality discussions. You know your competence and background, but do you really understand the position you are applying for or company’s core business? The interview is not only about you, but also about you showing an interest on the company and the open position. You need to be able to give an impression that you have followed the company and sought information about it. Fluent talk is smooth and forward-moving. Pre-study is a sign of professionalism and is a signal of your true interest. You should also check in advance in which language will the interview be conducted. If it is not in your native language, we strongly encourage you to study material in the requested language and practice some dialogue to lower any potential stress and tension.

4. The Importance of Questions. There are two different type of questions you need to be aware of; questions that are directed to you and questions you should ask. The interviewer wants to learn about you, your career goals and how motivated you would be to perform if hired.  Our advice to you is that you should not worry too much in advance as it easily kills your natural interaction and communication. Be prepared to answer in a positive and prompt way to some of the typical questions like: Tell me about yourself, why are you interested in this position, where do you see yourself in 3 or 5 years from now, what are your strengths, what would you like to develop (weaknesses), how would your boss or colleagues describe you, what motivates you, why do you want to work here, why should we hire you. The rest of the interview will typically be focusing on the company, your skills, competence and job experience related to open position.



A usual situation in the end of an interview is when you are asked if you have got any questions related to the open position or the company. Your answer should be YES to show your interest. You can easily prepare these questions in advance when studying the open position and walking through the company website. Easy questions like “what are the next steps, what is the time table, when can I expect hearing from you” works well. This shows your interest in the process and willingness to continue discussions.

Last but not least we would like to emphasize the value of preparing your answers to Why Me -question. We have shown some examples of typical questions, but the absolutely core question is why should the company choose you? Think carefully about your answer in advance and relate it to how you can deliver exceptional results, how perfectly well you will fit with the team and position (values, competence, hungry for great results) and how valuable asset you would be to the company.

Remember, a good first impression can work wonders and effectively open the right doors. Being punctual gives a picture of you being a reliable and trustworthy employee. Be humble, proud of your background, competence and knowledge – do not pretend to be someone you are not. Be prepared as much as you can but remember to also leave a door open for impulsive questions and answers. Nothing is written in the stone and there are no right and wrong answers. What counts is the right attitude and match between employer’s expectations, your competence and your drive to run good results as a part of a team. In the interview, keep in mind as well that speaking is silver listening is gold.


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