How to make a great first impression at your next job interview

How to make a great first impression at your next job interview

09 May 2018

So, you’ve landed a job interview – that’s great! Nervous? There’s no need to be. Think of it as just another conversation with someone who’s looking forward to meeting you. Whether you're interviewing for a Boilermaker Apprenticeship, a Coal Mining or Business Administration Traineeship, we know just how important it is to make a great first impression and let your strengths shine.

We’ve put together some practical tips to ensure you make a great first impression at your interview, regardless of the job.

GROOMING

When preparing on the day of the interview your approach should be 'clean, fresh, simple and tidy'.

  • Hair washed and in a simple style.
  • Nails cleaned and well-kept.
  • Apply antiperspirant deodorant, and go “light” on perfumes and colognes.

Gents – go for clean-shaved or ensure facial hair is trimmed and tidy.

Ladies – if applying make-up, keep it light and conservative.

CLOTHING

Choosing the right outfit for an interview can be a little daunting. Again, keep it simple. Think about the style, fit and appropriateness of your clothes – you don’t want style choice to distract from what you have to say at interview.

  • Monotone and block colours are best and look professional.
  • Cleaned and polished shoes.
  • Freshly ironed from top to bottom.
  • No shorts or jeans or short skirts.
  • Cover up tattoos and body art.
  • Forget the sneakers or runners and choose dark lace-ups.
  • Keep jewellery to a minimum.

Gents – For pants, choose black, grey or dark blue slacks or tan chinos paired with a collared dress shirt.

Ladies – Keep business dresses or skirts at knee length or below.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Take a deep breath – you have got this. The topic of conversation is one that you know better than anyone else – it’s all about you and your strengths.

  • Be aware of your body language. Stand straight, make good eye contact and offer a firm, friendly handshake to the interviewer.
  • Turn your mobile off or switch it to silent and tuck it away in your bag or pocket before the interview. Try to avoid the buzzing of constant messages and notifications.
  • Listen, give your full attention and be mindful of fidgeting. Rest your hands in your lap or on the table in front of you.
  • If your mouth is feeling dry from nerves (it happens, and it’s ok) ask politely for some water or keep a bottle in your bag. 

So there you have it; “clean, fresh, simple and tidy”, ironed top to bottom, and give your full attention to the interviewer. With this in mind you can’t go wrong.

Our last bit of bonus advice… confidence at interview takes practice. It’s a big reason why we like to have an interview with you first, before we send you off to one of our host employers. We want to make sure you are comfortable and know what to expect. You will have many job interviews throughout your career; and as you grow and develop it gets easier.

Hopefully this guide helps you feel like a pro for your next job interview.

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