In the day-to-day of my job I see the whole recruitment cycle. From the time a job goes live, to the moment it’s being offered and accepted, I see it all. It’s an amazing process to be a part of, from both sides of the fence. I understand how important finding the right person is for our clients, while also seeing firsthand the importance finding the right job is for the candidates. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The process from go to whoa is made up of certain steps, and touch points along the way. In today’s blog post I’d like to share some observations, and advice, from my perspective and time in recruitment at

I am the person who greets the candidates when they come for interview which means that often, I’m the first face-to-face contact they’ve had with There have been telephone calls and emails before they come in (the true first impression), but this is the first time everyone gets to see everyone else. It is this stage that is often most telling, and I am here to tell you why, and how you can make the most of your (second) first impression.

Keep calm – you’re there for a reason

Your resume and any initial telephone or email conversation has hit the mark and you’ve been invited in for an interview. This is the time to keep calm and start your preparations. Make sure you reread the advertisement you applied to, as it will give you information on the role and the areas of interest to focus on.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have

As funny as this now infamous eCard is, and while it might seem obvious, it is definitely worth mentioning. Smart, business attire sets the tone and tells people from the outset you’re serious about making a great impression. You have seven seconds to cement a good first impression upon meeting someone face-to-face, and this first hurdle is easily overcome by paying attention to the way you present yourself.

What to Take

Take a copy of your resume, even though the interviewer will probably have a copy on hand. This demonstrates you are prepared and also gives you relevant reading material while you wait for the interviewer to come and meet you! Make sure you re-read it beforehand so you know which areas to focus on for that particular role.

Know the Company

Sometimes you’ll know who the role is with at first interview, sometimes you won’t. Regardless, you need to do your research!

Find out as much about both parties as you can (the recruitment company and/ or the hiring company), as well as the greater industry as a whole. With tools like LinkedIn, Google and other social media sites, you really have no excuse to go into an interview not having some understanding of the person you’re meeting with, their company and the client they represent (if this is made known).

Find out who’s who at the zoo! See if there’s anyone in your network that either knows the recruiter and/ or works for the hiring company. The more you know going in, the better prepared you’ll be to not only answer the questions the interviewer asks, but to ask informed questions of your own.

What happens in Reception, stays in Reception

Well actually, it doesn’t. All behaviour and interactions are relevant once you walk in the door, and these exchanges all start building a picture of who you are even before you meet the interviewer. Sometimes even before you speak.

ALWAYS be polite and courteous (as you undoubtedly always are!), and understand that this is another touch point along the recruitment process. I am always asked how people have responded both on the phone and in person, and the longer I work in recruitment, the more I understand that these moments are often the most telling in terms of people’s true character and ultimately, fit into our clients’ businesses.

And finally, the scouts have it right…

Be prepared! All these steps help set you up in the best possible way to go into your interview understanding what the hiring company is looking for in their new hire, with whom you’ll be speaking and what needs to be covered in that conversation.

So, good luck for you next application, interview and beyond.

Lyn Cole is the Practice Manager who has Seen It All when it comes to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of interviewees.

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