Leaving a Positive Impression on Your Interviewer

By Canadajobs.com Staff

Your resume impressed them and now you have a job interview. What can you do to leave your potential employers with the best possible impression of you?

Arrive On Time:

One of the most important points of making a positive lasting impression is showing repsect to your potential future employer by arriving for an interview early and on time.

Arriving a bit early (ten minutes is a good guideline) also allows you time to focus and gather your thoughts.

If you aren't sure where the interview is or how long it takes to get there, do a "test run" a few days ahead of time. Remember to account for traffic, time to get ready, etc.

Arrive Prepared:

Would you want to give a job to someone who can't even be bothered to take the time to prepare for a job interview? Not likely. Make sure you know what the company does, how they function, what industries they are involved in, and what your job will be. Of course, some of the information about your potential new job may only be presented at the interview, but more than likely, most of it will be available from the job description. Make sure you have an answer to every requirement they have on the job description.

Be Confident:

You know you can do the job. Make sure they know. Showcase your skills in the best way you can by having faith in yourself. This isn't the time to downplay your achievements. Without being arrogant, illustrate your experience with things you've achieved at your past jobs. It's not enough to list your experience. Have examples ready that describe your workplace achievements.

By displaying confidence, you also avoid the trap of appearing desperate. Desperation is not a trait that leaves a positive impression on interviewers. They have a job that needs to be filled and they need to fill confident in choosing the right person for the job.

Give them a reason to pick you by being properly dressed, projecting a confident image, and being prepared.

Don't Speak Badly of a Past Employer:

There are nice ways to say things and there are some not so nice ways. You have no idea what sort of relationship your interviewer has with your past employer, if any. It's never a good idea to speak badly of a past employer because your potential employer does not want to hire someone who displays disloyal behaviour, regardless of what caused it. If you have to explain why you left a job, there are a variety of great reasons. Just make sure you are truthful. Don't lie and say you quit when you were indeed fired because these things can be easily verified. Instead, if you did quit your job, you can use phrases like "I wanted to seek out new opportunities," "I wanted a new challenge," because essentially, that's what you wanted.

Be Friendly but Professional:

Given the choice between hiring someone who is friendly or someone who appeared stiff and standoffish, a potential employer will most likely pick the friendly face. Leaving a good impression by being friendly, postive and happy will go a long way towards the interviewer remembering who you were. Don't overdo it though because being fake does not leave a good lasting impression. Be genuine and friendly.

Say Thank You:

After a job interview, send a thank you letter. Thank the person who conducted the interview and who arranged for the interview. Remember to mention that you would be a good match for the job and that your skills reflect what they are looking for (if they do, of course!) But remember, the point of a thank you letter is to thank them for their time. Make sure that's the main focus of the letter.

Leaving a positive impression with a potential employer is more than just attending an interview and answering questions. Being friendly, positive, arriving on time, and being prepared show your potential employer that you care, you are considerate, and you respect their time. And those things leave a positive lasting impression.

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