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December 5, 2013 by Jessica Lala
As the saying goes – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This is doubly true when you are meeting with a potential employer. You may have already spoken to a recruiter or hiring manager over the phone and impressed them with your skills and knowledge pertaining to the position they are attempting to fill. Now they’ve invited you in to meet with the person or people you are going to be working with. From the receptionist sitting in the lobby down to HR, everyone is going to be assessing you and how you fit in with the company. An in-person interview gives your perspective new employer the chance to meet with you and evaluate you beyond what is written in the job description. No matter what industry, company or position, there are what I believe to be universal truths when going in that first time.

Physical Presentation
Wear a suit. No matter what industry the company is in or what their corporate dress code may be, making sure that you are dressed professionally shows that you are serious about coming to work for them. Men should always wear a collared shirt and tie with a well-fitting (tailored) suit. The same is true for women, though a tailored dress with sensible shoe is sufficient.
Personal Grooming: Take the time to make sure you have covered all of your bases when it comes to grooming/hygiene. It may seem like a no-brainer, but not paying attention to your details may make it seem like you would overlook the details of your position.

Client Interaction
Be positive: Avoid negative words or phrases. If they do ask you something you don’t know or haven’t done before, show your interest in expanding your knowledge base. Let the interviewer know that you would like to learn that skill or discipline and that you would be willing to do so on your own time.

Ask questions: In my last blog, I spoke about researching a company prior to your interview. Now is the opportunity to take what you have learned and ask questions beyond the position requirements. It shows the interviewer that you are serious about coming to work for them.

Some of these things may seem like foregone conclusions, but preparing yourself on both technical and soft skills prior to your interview gives you an extra boost of confidence before going in, and being confident can give you that little extra that gets you from “potential employee” to “hired”.

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