The first few minutes of your interview can be a ‘make or break’ period when it comes to securing your dream job – every second counts to make a good first impression!

Here at BT6 we share tips and advice on how to gain a strong start and how to make the most of the first 5 minutes of your interview, and how to make sure that you remain memorable to any potential employer, for all the right reasons…

Arrive in plenty of time

It sounds obvious, but make sure that you allow plenty of time to arrive at the interview with time to spare, and so you’re not rushing in flustered. Your interview starts from the moment you leave the house! Arriving early allows you time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings, greet the receptionist/ any staff that you come across initially in a positive manner, and give yourself time for a comfort break and to check your notes.

Treat everyone you meet the same

Ensure that you’re polite and friendly to everyone you come across during interview day- from your interviewer, right through to the receptionist and anyone else you come across in the building. Interviewers may well ask their co-workers for their impressions of visitors afterwards, so you want everyone who comes into contact with you to see you in a positive light.

Prepare for small talk

We get it- many people struggle with ‘small talk’ with people they don’t know well, especially if they are nervous in the run up to an interview. However, it will stand you in good stead to have some relevant topics of conversation up your sleeve, such as related company news (i.e. you’ve seen the CEO being interviewed on TV recently), or a topic that might affect the company, for example, share prices. Asking them (if appropriate) about their own time or career path within the company could also be a good subject to steer conversation towards.

Small talk might seem uncomfortable at times, but it’s a way for your potential employer to build a rapport with you and start to generate positive ‘chemistry’ that is important for all effective business relationships. This will all help when you're thinking of how to make the most of the first 5 minutes of your interview

First Impressions

First impressions count, and visual ones are as important as verbal ones. Smile confidently on meeting and shake hands firmly, all whilst making eye contact and like you’re happy and positive to be there. Remember- you want to show that you really want this job! Dress-code-wise, match your style with that of the company you’re being interviewed for. Do a bit of research prior to your interview and check out the company’s website and social channels to see what employees are wearing – you can double check with your recruiter too. You’ll want to show off your personality, but if in doubt, it’s best to be more formal.

Be ‘on brand’

Before your interview, really think about who you are, what you stand for, and why the company needs someone like yourself for the role. Have two or three key points that you want to make about what you have to offer and what you’re looking for – for example, ‘I’m really excited about the challenge of managing a large team’, or ‘In the last 3 years I’ve developed an extensive digital marketing skillset’.The above are examples of key points that you want your interviewer to remember about you, so try and work them in naturally whenever you can, including within the first few minutes if possible.

It's also worth reading up on the company's values/ mission statement, plus any information regarding the company culture at your potential new workplace, just to confirm to yourself that you'd be a good fit for the company and role, and that you'd likely be happy working there.

Like this article on how to make the most of the first 5 minutes of your interview? You can read more of the same, over on the BT6 blog