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First impressions at interview are important, but what can or should we do about it?  Here are our thoughts:

A new article from the BPS Occupational Digest ( highlights research findings that show that despite the use of structured, competency based interviews, people are still influenced by first impressions.

But leaving aside the science for a moment, what does this mean for you or me if we’re going for a job interview tomorrow?

The problem is, we can get so worked up about doing and saying the right thing, that we actually get more and more stressed/anxious.  Excess adrenaline doesn’t help our performance, and so ironically, by worrying too much about our first impression, we could actually make it worse.

So, what’s our advice?  Try to relax.

By focusing on what you know and can do well, you’ll feel more confident in yourself.  Don’t worry about things that might catch you out, because worrying won’t help you.  Smile, breathe slowly, remember that the interviewer might be nervous too…

If your first impression is of a relaxed person, looking forward to the interview, this will be much more helpful than a nervous person trying really hard to do and say the right thing.

Get a good night sleep 2 nights running before your interview, eat healthily, avoid too much caffeine/alcohol/smoking, exercise sensibly, and then smile your way through the greetings and do your best.

If it’s not for you, it’s not for you.  If they like what they see, you’ve done your job and then it’s up to them to choose.

We can help with interview coaching.


Edinburgh Career and Coaching Services:

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Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 0131 215 1066
Craigie Partnership, (Psychology & Coaching), Scott House, 10 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AZ

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