How to Make a Good First Impression in an Interview
In the human resources and recruiting field, it is common to meet candidates — even experienced professionals — who struggle to make a strong first impression or interview well. Candidates can spend hours preparing for interviews without realizing the control they have to influence decision-makers.
As a Kappa Delta leadership development consultant turned HR and recruiting professional, I often find myself comparing the ability to make a strong first impression to sorority recruitment. From conversation skills to personal presence to assessing competencies in PNMs, the skills we learn in Kappa Delta recruitment can set us apart in a professional setting. Our sorority experience also helps us build confidence in social settings, which proves valuable when meeting new people in an interview.
Here’s my best advice for making a great impression:
- Know your personal brand. Ask yourself: “How do I want people to describe me after our first interaction?” For me it’s confident, competent and eager. If I want to be seen this way, I have to act in a way that displays these qualities and be prepared with examples that demonstrate how I practice them. Maybe I volunteer to present my team’s quarterly report in the monthly executive meeting, take advantage of continued education opportunities at my firm or take initiative to seek out additional projects to diversify my skill set. These are examples I could provide in an interview that sell myself and represent my brand.
- Prepare. Just as we would never walk into primary recruitment without preparation, we need to prepare for a job interview. Do your research to find out what a company or interviewer values, then cater your resume and examples to match. If you are applying at Google and your research shows they value innovation, focus on examples that demonstrate creative thought. One of the most important factors in landing a job is matching your values to the company.
- Be confident! Easier said than done, I know, but go in as your own biggest advocate. You have to know why you’re an asset. The point of an interview is to sell yourself and convince the person on the other side of the desk that you will provide value to their company. This is your time to share your accomplishments! #HumbleBrag
Keep these ideas in mind during your next interview and remember to take advantage of every opportunity in Kappa Delta to refine your skills. Happy interviewing!
Technical Recruiter at Optiver-US, LLC