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Job Interview 101


How to Sell Yourself with a Great First Impression

Job seekers can find plenty of advice on how to respond to interview questions. However, what you may not realize is that you make an impression long before you answer the first question.

Employment Edge staffers have seen, heard, and noted hundreds of first-hand impressions — good and bad. With a few tips from our professional staff, you will be sure to make a positive impression at your next interview.

Based on our experience interviewing candidates, we will let you in on what impresses an interviewer — and what doesn’t. Read on to learn how to start selling yourself before the interview even starts.

First Impression Do’s and Don’ts

Keep in mind that your interview starts the minute you open your potential employer’s door. In the case of a staffing agency like Employment Edge, remember that you are arriving for an actual interview. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the “real” interview comes later. You are on stage – and making an impression — now.

  • Get here on time.
    If you have scheduled an appointment, get here 10 minutes early. If you are taking advantage of our open-door interview policy, don’t wait until late afternoon to stop in. Arrive in the morning or early afternoon.

  • Allow enough time.
    You will need about 45 minutes to complete an application and an interview. Don’t expect to walk in, grab an application, and leave. We want to learn about your work history and get to know you. If you are in too much of a hurry, plan to visit our office at another time.

  • Dress appropriately.
    Think of your cell phone as an accessory and don’t “wear” it to the interview. Don’t wear a baseball cap — or any hat for that matter. Dress for a business setting — no tank tops, shorts, or flip flops.

  • Finish your coffee/pop/water before you get here.
    Don't walk into the interview with a coffee cup or bottle of soda or water or anything else to eat or drink. It’s unprofessional. Besides, we need you to focus on finishing your application, not finishing your latte.

  • Respect the process.
    Different agencies and HR departments have different application procedures. The process we have in place works for us and there is a reason for each step. Asking “why” you have to do each of the steps or complaining about what we require you to do will not put you in the “great first impression” category.

  • Last but not least, be interested, attentive, and alert.
    After you have completed the application forms, there will be a brief wait before the interview starts. During your wait, sit comfortably, but don’t slouch. Don’t use your phone to talk or text. Don’t grab a quick nap. When our interviewer greets you, stand up, smile, and offer a handshake.

Next time you go to a job interview, remember that you are leaving an impression — good or bad —even before you answer the first question. Your behavior, from the minute you open the door, reveals your attitude, enthusiasm, and personality.

Your conduct before and during the interview determines how and when we might refer you to potential employers.

We invite you to make a great first impression at Employment Edge. Check out our job listings and give us a call at 605-271-5627. We look forward to meeting you.

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