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5 ways to make a good first impression

When it comes down to it, all interview questions ask the exact same thing: “Can we trust you?”

You wouldn’t be invited to an interview if you weren’t sufficiently skilled or experienced for the role, so face-to-face meetings are more often used to determine whether you will fit in with the business. As trust is a major component to any relationship, even a working relationship, interviews help to establish whether you will do what you say you can do.

But how you can you prove you’re trustworthy in less than an hour?

We have 5 tips on how to impress any interviewer when meeting them for the first time:

1. Be an active listener

Therapists and counsellors often practice ‘active listening’, which means to fully engage in what someone else is saying so as to respond in an insightful and considered manner. Whenever your interviewer is talking, really concentrate on them and show you’re listening by smiling and nodding. When it’s your turn to speak, indicate that you’ve understood what they’ve said and avoid giving impulsive answers.

2.It’s not all about you

Employers want to know if you’ll get on well with their staff. How we feel about others is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, so discuss inspirational colleagues, admirable qualities in others and even praise elements of your interviewer’s career. Don’t go too far with it though…there’s a fine line between being complimentary and sucking up!

3.Stay positive

Everything you say during an interview should be presented in a positive light, or at least have a positive spin on it. Think of problems as challenges, failures as opportunities to learn and difficulties as a test of character. Never badmouth past employers or colleagues as your interviewer will (justifiably) believe you’ll do the same to them.

4.Honesty is the best policy

A great show of trust and strength of character is honesty. Readily admit your faults (while explaining how you plan to improve on them) and always ask the interviewer to explain or repeat themselves if you don’t quite understand something they’ve said.

5.Question everything

Whenever an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” you should always use this as an opportunity to find out everything you need to know about the role. Prepare for this in advance by bringing a list of example questions with you. Asking questions shows a level of investment and interest, which ultimately makes you a more desirable candidate.

Find out more about preparing for an interview, view our other career advice articles, or browse our latest roles