You just got off the phone with the hiring manager of a job you applied for, and he/she wants to see you for an interview. Congratulations! Making it to the interview stage is something to celebrate, but still far from landing the job. Before you let the real celebration begin, you need to prove you are as good as you sound on paper. When you walk into that room, you want to make the best impression you can from the moment the hiring manager sees you.
First impressions are often a make or break factor in the interview process. So, what exactly does it take to make a winning first impression? Read on to discover our best tips.
What to Wear
Dressing for a blue-collar job interview can be tricky. Do you wear a suit or business casual? Dressing appropriately shows you understand the job environment and take the position seriously. Wear your best version of what other people wear in the workplace.
Dark work slacks and blouse or collared polo with minimal, or no, jewelry for women – avoid long or dangly earrings and necklaces applying for warehouse or construction positions. Keep makeup simple, nothing dramatic or bold. Dark work slacks and collared shirt for men. Appropriate work shoes for both – cleaned and polished, of course.
Dress slacks or skirt with a blouse and minimal, or no, jewelry for women. Dress slacks with collared dress shirt for men. Cleaned and polished dress shoes for both.
For any position, have every clothing item clean, stain-free, pressed, and well fitted. Avoid shirts with large graphics or slogans on them, low-cut tees, or too many accessories. Aim for professional, not fashion-forward.
If you are still unsure what to wear, you can always call HR receptionist and ask what employees typically wear to work. The interviewer will appreciate your attention to detail, and your effort to dress for the job will show you are serious about being hired.
Grooming & Hygiene
Surprisingly, this comment must be said – take a shower! Make sure your hair is freshly washed, trimmed, brushed back, and out of your face. Men and women with long hair should wear it pulled back, especially if interviewing for a factory or warehouse position where you may tour the facility. Men should have clean-shaven faces or well cared for beards and/or mustaches.
Timeliness is an absolute must at the interview stage. Show that you will be the kind of employee who shows up early and prepared for work by arriving at least 15 minutes early to the interview. Also, make time in your day for the entire process. Interviews can run anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour, and there may be other people lined up before you. Clear your schedule around the interview so you can relax and focus on the task at hand.
Everyone has heard that actions speak louder than words; so does your body language. Let your confidence and positive attitude shine the moment you walk through the door. Meet your interviewer with eye contact and a firm handshake. Stand tall with your shoulders back. Avoid nervous habits like nail biting, knuckle popping, and/or leg shaking. Smile! Doing these small actions shows confidence and helps you to feel confident.
A well-prepared interviewee arrives having researched the company and with prepared answers. When you study the company, look up their history, what they produce, and what they are currently striving to achieve. Think of some questions you can ask during the question period of the interview. You can never know precisely what questions you will be asked, but there are many examples of interview questions on the internet you can use to practice. Be ready to share information about your experience, education, and achievements, and be honest with your answers. Relevant personal experience with home improvement projects or working on vehicles also give evidence that you have the skills and abilities required for the job at hand.
Be courteous and attentive during the interview. Use respectful language — absolutely no cuss words or slang. Turn off or silence your mobile phone and other electronic devices, and don’t check them during the interview. Sit up straight. Show an interest in your interviewer and don’t be afraid to create small talk, it shows you are a “real” person, and it helps to relax the setting. Always thank your interviewer before you leave.
Relax & Be Yourself
It’s entirely normal to feel nervous before an interview, but too much anxiety can hamper your ability to perform well in the interview. Before you are called into the office, take a deep breath through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Relax your muscles by tightening and releasing them. Stay positive and imagine yourself succeeding in the interview. Remember, you can do this!
Interviews can be intimidating, but consider it your opportunity to make a great first impression. Our staff takes pride in sending top-of-the-line workers out into the workforce and helping them succeed. Check out our Job Seekers page to discover what jobs are open in your area. Then, give us a call, and we’ll start finding your new job together.