Interviewing - Successful Selection

by Jane Tredgett

Making a positive impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Most of us are familiar with this expression and nowhere is this more important than at interviews. You will be assessing the candidates and they, in turn, will be assessing you and the organisation.

It is essential you are a good advert for your company and that you make those first few minutes count. Here are some things that help make a positive first impression:

  • Collect the candidate from reception personally, rather than buzzing for them to be sent to you
  • Be punctual
  • If you have had to keep them waiting, apologise
  • Thank them for attending
  • Smile
  • Make eye contact
  • Shake hands warmly (avoid the bone crush or limp lettuce handshakes), but be aware of cultural or religious issues around handshakes
  • Be careful how you pronounce their name and ask for clarification on how it should be pronounced if you are unsure
  • Introduce yourself and show your interest in interviewing them
  • Use social pleasantries to build rapport and put them at ease. See Rapport.

A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Dale Carnegie