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Resource: Resume Info
7 Things Interviewers First Notice
Thursday, May 03, 2012

You'll definitely want to check your breath, but it isn't one of the first thing an interviewer is going to take note on when you walk in. Interviewers are looking for certain things from you to mark off on their mental checklists. Take a look at some of the things that, along with your breath, you should prep for to make the best first impression.

1) Time
As soon as an interview is notified of your arrival, they're going to be looking at the time you came in. If you're at all late, by one minute or ten, you've just earned your first strike. Arrive too early and you put the interviewer in an awkward position. If they're in the middle of something, they may feel rushed to greet you.

Stick to getting there no earlier than five to ten minutes as it bests shows punctuality and good time management. If you're unfamiliar with the area of the interview location, make a visit beforehand so you know the best route and the amount of time it takes to get there.

2) Appearance
When taking into account whether you  presented yourself appropriately they're looking beyond clothing. They'll be checking to see if you're well-groomed and clean. Make sure that what you wear is right for the company, some places won't require you to wear a business suit.

If you're still scratching your head, ask the person who set up the interview with you or even the receptionist what the proper attire is. Also keep in mind things like nail polish color, accessories, and body jewelry. Think about what you would  expect someone at that company to be wearing and try to emulate that.

3) Body Language
You may not be saying anything but your body could be giving you away. Being aware of your mannerisms is very important. Hiring managers are good at picking up on the unsaid. If you're fidgety, slouching ,or being too stiff, you could be coming off as uncomfortable and not a good fit for the company.

Professionals who have to sit through regular meetings wouldn't be caught tapping their feet or swiveling around in their chairs. Doing that in your interview won't do you any good either. Quick tip in Listening 101: Make sure to have eye contact, just remember to unlock your gaze every now and then so as not to be too intense.

4) Speech
Your ability to communicate well is a huge deal to interviewers. They want to bring people aboard who they can bounce ideas off of and work on projects with. Teamwork relies on good communication. Mumbling, using slang, or saying "um" after every word is hard enough to listen to let along try to work along side of.

Take your time with your answers and make sure that you're clear, audible, and making sense. Get a feel for the interviewer's communication style--mellow, energetic, etc.-- and get as close to it as possible to make it easier for them to understand you.

5) Preparation
A huge mistake is to forget to bring something that was required of you. Bringing a copy of your resume is a common request from hiring managers but you should do this anyway along with any other work-related documents. Things like a portfolio, cover letter, pen and notepad are good things to bring with you.

Sort of like being prepared with the necessary materials for class, you want to bring anything with a slight chance you may need it. If you've done your homework on the company then it will reflect in your preparedness. Most companies will expect you to know some of their background and history.

6) Qualifications
Nothing can make up for the lack of qualifications for a position. Resumes and cover letters are just introductions, like the impression before the first impresion. The interview is your chance to prove yourself.

Stay focused on tying together your past experiences and accomplishments with the new positions. You want the interviewer to feel like you were born for this job and it's up to you to convince them of that.