People typically form 90% of their opinions about someone in the first 90 seconds!
Once you have managed to market yourself successfully to get an interview, your first impressions are more important than you might think. For this reason everything you do initially to present yourself is important.
Here are some important points to remember:
- Always dress up - even if employers work in a relaxed environment, it is important to dress as smart and professionally as possible. People will only be impressed.
- Display confidence but not overconfidence - look the interviewer in the eye and give them a firm handshake. In a Sales and Marketing environment you will be expected to be the face of the organisation, so in this sense you will need to have confidence and energy.
- Be as professional as you can be - 55% of impressions are formed by our dress, our facial expressions, body language and eye contact.
It is a good idea to plan - think of your strengths, achievements and areas for development and write them down to help you remember them.
Modern interview practitioners will predominantly use a form of behavioural based or competency based interviewing - the theory behind this technique is that past behaviours predict future behaviours. The reality behind this is that you must find relevant and specific examples to the questions asked by the interviewer.
In giving specific examples to questions, interviewers will look for you to provide a "situation", "behaviour" and an "outcome".
- Situation - you need to explain the situation or task you faced so you can put a context around your answer.
- Behaviour - this is the action you took to handle the situation or task. Remember that past behaviors predict future behaviors.
- Outcome - the idea here is to explain how effective your actions (behavior) were and why they were effective or not.
You need to produce enough information so the interviewer can understand your situation, action and outcome, but you need to be succinct and straight to the point.