First impressions play a key role in determining how the interviewer perceives the candidate. What you say in the first moments of a job interview, the way you behave, can make a huge difference to the outcome of this – for better or for worse.

During an interview, your goal is to show how your professionalism and your communication skills are an important asset and can make a great contribution to the company. Of course, the last thing you want is to look embarrassed, uncomfortable and uncertain. In this article, I’ll explain how to show up for a job interview to distinguish yourself from other candidates and win over the recruiter.

While many are skeptical that first impressions can influence a recruiter’s choice to exclude a candidate from selection, the reality is that some recruiters decide to immediately reject a candidate if they don’t perform properly.

The little things, the details, make a big difference in a job interview. For this it is essential to pay attention to the right manners and learn how to present yourself in an interview.

Below, you will find a series of steps to follow, not only in the first phase of the meeting with the recruiter but for the entire duration of the interview, to know what to do and how to behave to make a great impression with the recruiter.

How to show up for a job interview

When you get to the interview

1) Be on time

The first thing you need to make sure you do is be on time. This is very important to give the recruiter a good impression of you. A late candidate is seen as unreliable, disrespectful, and disinterested in the position he is applying for.

If the recruiter sees that you are unable to meet the commitment of an interview, they will think that even in the workplace you will behave in the same way, that is unprofessional. And therefore it will hardly choose you.

Arriving on time for the interview means early, about 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time. Remember that a punctual candidate is a reliable candidate.

2) Be friendly to the staff

Be prepared to give a small introduction to the person who will greet you when you arrive at the interview location. Introduce yourself to the person at the meeting, give your name and explain why you came.

Always remember to be friendly and respectful. Many candidates show their manners only in front of the recruiter, thinking that only he / she is the person to be conquered.

The truth is that many recruiters, after the interview, ask the staff what impression they had of the candidate: if you are rude to others and polite to the recruiter, they will not believe you sincere and will reject you.

3) Be ready for the meeting with the recruiter (what to do)

You’ll probably have to wait a few minutes before meeting the recruiter. Then, you may be escorted to his / her office by someone from the staff, or he / she may greet you. Make the most of those waiting minutes intelligently. Review your notes or the questions you want to ask the recruiter if you feel the need, or go to the toilet to freshen up and settle down for the meeting.

Many candidates tend to have sweaty palms from agitation. If this is also the case, going to the toilet to wash your hands is the best choice to avoid embarrassment with the recruiter. When the recruiter arrives, don’t forget your manners. Stand up if you are seated and come forward to shake his / her hand, even if the recruiter doesn’t offer it.

A handshake is one of those small details that make a big difference in a job interview. A good handshake, firm and strong, communicates that you are a confident and determined candidate. Even if you both know why you are there, remember to introduce yourself by saying your first and last name.

Afterwards, it’s a good idea to thank the recruiter for the time they are giving you. Try to smile and look your interlocutor in the eye, to show that you are casual and put the other at ease as well. Avoid making trivial but frequent mistakes. For example, don’t look the recruiter in the eye, don’t pay attention to his words, don’t smile and show your stress and anxiety.

Remember that the way you pose and present yourself, your mood and attitude, also affect that of the person in front of you.

So try to keep your nerve.

Another mistake not to make is not having the right look for the interview. The way you introduce yourself inevitably passes through the way you are dressed for the meeting with the recruiter. Therefore, choose the right outfit.

You can dress as for a normal working day in that company, but if the company adopts a very casual look, you focus on something more elegant and professional. Avoid bright colors, don’t overdo it, but don’t even show up in jeans and a T-shirt.

During the interview

4) Make a short and effective introduction

One of the first questions the recruiter will ask you are probably “Tell me about yourself.” Many underestimate the importance of this question, believing it is just a way for the recruiter to break the ice. In fact, this question presents a great opportunity for you to present yourself at your best.

Your answer should aim to highlight the key elements of your background that will allow you to excel in the job you are interviewing for. Good preparation is essential to answer the interviewer’s questions. Not only do you have to have the answers in mind, but you also need to practice answering so that you are confident and comfortable.

Before coming to the interview, do a thorough analysis of the job offer, so that you can highlight those experiences, skills and interests that will help you perform your role successfully.

5) Get ready to answer the most frequently asked questions

After the “Tell me about yourself” question, the recruiter will start asking more in-depth questions. Her goal isn’t just to figure out if you’re a good candidate with the right skills and skills. The recruiter wants to make sure you can fit in well with the company’s corporate culture.

He also wants to make sure that you are a motivated candidate, meaning that you are passionate about that type of job and that you have the ideal attitude in the workplace, that way he will be convinced that you will bring good results to the company. Also, the recruiter will want to investigate your career goals to make sure that position is important to you and not just a temporary fallback.

Review the list of frequently asked questions from a job interview and prepare your answers. The best way to do this is to carefully study the job posting and do research on the company through the website, social profiles, etc.

6) Prepare the questions to ask the recruiter

At the end of the job interview, the recruiter will ask you if you have any questions. It is essential that you have prepared a list of questions about the company and the role.

Asking questions to the recruiter is not just a way to clear your doubts and learn more about your potential job. But it is also one of the best ways to show the recruiter that you are strongly interested in that position and that company.

To learn how to prepare questions and which ones to ask, keep reading this article.

Body language

7) Get the right attitude

Your body communicates more than your words, so you’ll need to check your gestures and attitude as well. It is due to the fact that you are not sure about yourself, your skills and what you say.

A great alarm bell.

So, pay attention to how you show yourself through your body. For example, avoid crossing your arms or keeping your hands in your pockets. These are actions that communicate nervousness and rudeness. Also, sit upright and keep your back straight, in this way you will give an image of yourself confident and proud.

Also remember to hold the interviewer’s gaze. Not being able to look your interlocutor in the eye is a clear sign of insecurity. The recruiter could also interpret this as lack of attention or motivation.

8) Be enthusiastic

One of the aspects of the candidate most appreciated by the recruiter is enthusiasm.

A candidate full of curiosity, desire to do something, resourcefulness, can enormously increase his chances of being hired.

To communicate, show all your enthusiasm. Smile, pay attention to the things that the recruiter shows, nod, make a few notes to show that you are interested in the position.

How to avoid mistakes

Now that you’ve seen the essential points to pay attention to during a job interview, let’s also briefly see the mistakes you shouldn’t make in front of the recruiter.

9) Do not interrupt the selector

In addition to being rude, interrupting the recruiter can also prevent you from giving the correct answer. In fact, if you don’t listen carefully and don’t give the interviewer time to finish the question, you can’t know what he’s asking.

10) Don’t be pessimistic

Recruiters like candidates who are open-minded, positive and looking for solutions.

Therefore, don’t look pessimistic during the interview.

If you don’t have a good opinion of yourself, if you think the job is too difficult, that problems and unforeseen events cannot be solved, if you have a weak and listless approach to work, the recruiter will hardly be won over by you.

Be positive and ready to take on challenges.

11) Don’t say contradictory things

A big wake-up call for the recruiter is a candidate who contradicts what he says.

During the job interview, the recruiter may ask you several questions that aim to find out about you. The question changes, but the focus of the selector does not.

For this reason it is important that you are consistent in what you say. If you answer a first question and give another similar question a different answer, the recruiter will be confused.

He won’t know which version to believe.

12) Don’t rush to answer

The answers you give to the recruiter must be direct, precise and thorough. Try not to give the interviewer quick and dry answers with the first thing that comes to mind.

I’m not telling you to wait forever before answering, but after you’ve listened to the recruiter’s complete question, try to take the time to formulate a detailed and thorough answer.