Make a Lasting First Impression

Many people pass judgment unknowingly because it is a part of human nature. As we grow up we’re engrained by others that first impressions are everything. In a competitive job market, you may only have one shot at truly standing out. Make it count!

Researching the company before an interview is extremely important. You don’t need to memorize every detail, but take some time and explore the company’s website. Ask others around you to see what they may know about the company. This will help you discover the culture of the company and give you better insight on determining whether you would be an overall fit.

As strange as it may sound, prepare for an interview by practicing in front of the mirror or rehearse with a family member or friend. Let’s face it, interviews are intimidating, but this can help ease your nerves. In the actual interview, make sure you present yourself professionally. Appear groomed and dress to impress. If you have to think twice about an outfit, skip it. There’s a reason why you’re doubting if it is appropriate. In addition, make eye contact, smile, and sit up straight.

During the interview, it is critical to have strong communication skills. Carefully listen to the interviewer’s question and do your best to relate your answers to your own personal experiences. Give a clear explanation and make sure that you answer the question to the best of your ability or knowledge. Avoid the common “ahs”, “ums”, and “like” while communicating. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask questions! Have questions in mind beforehand so you are prepared for when they ask if you have any questions. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in the company and the position. If you don’t ask questions, you may be perceived as careless, lazy, or even dull.

A simple “thank you” to your interviewer is often forgotten about. Make sure you follow up by sending an email or letter thanking the interviewer for their time and consideration. Not only does saying “thank you” show appreciation, but it also shows sincere interest. However, don’t go overboard. Keep the message straightforward and to the point.

Although you may have heard these tips multiple times, I’m sure you’ve all experienced an interview in which you didn’t feel confident with the result. Don’t let your next opportunity leave you wishing you should have said or done something differently. It is your time to shine!

Katie GreshamKatie Gresham graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in December of 2012 with a degree in communications specializing in public relations/advertising. She began her internship with Celebrity Staff in April of 2014. As a staffing assistant intern, she assists with conducting phone screens for applicants, running background checks, and completing employment verifications. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, shopping, and spending time at her family’s lake house.

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