Five ways to make a lasting impression

Shine at interviews by being who you really are.

Shine at interviews by being who you really are. Photo: Getty

No one wants to be forgettable – especially when interviewing for a new job or aiming for a promotion. Making a positive and lasting impression is key.

Here’s how you can stand out from the crowd and let your personality and attitude shine in an interview.

1. Be yourself

It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Trying to be someone you’re not is only going to set up false expectations of who you are and what you’re capable of.

Dial down the nerves and relax into being yourself, advises SEEK’s resident psychologist Sabina Read.

“Being at ease with who you are, with what your strengths are, with what your skillset is are all important. But how you express yourself and what your energy is like are equally important,” she said.

“Those are the parts that are really potent in an interview that can’t be assessed on paper.”

2. Express confidence

Confidence is key when it comes to making a lasting impression.

Showing others you’re confident in yourself and your abilities makes it easier for them have the same level of confidence in you.

Confidence doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But it’s a skill that anyone can build and continue to practise.

Back yourself by dismissing those niggling self-doubts and reminding yourself of your capabilities, skills and achievements.

Read more tips for building your confidence here.

It also goes without saying that positivity works well in an interview. So try to avoid making negative comments, Read said.

“Be positive, don’t complain about the weather, the parking or the traffic,” she said.

Job Boom

Be yourself, communicate clearly, be confident and express curiosity and passion. Photo Getty

3. Ask insightful questions

Showing an interest in a new workplace or role displays a sense of curiosity and genuine interest.

Try not to ask typical questions like “What do you enjoy about working here?”.

Read recommends opting for questions that show you are thinking about the job from an interviewer’s perspective.

“Well-rounded and interesting candidates are interested in other people in the room as well,” she said.

“‘What problems are you trying to solve?’

‘‘‘What are the challenges here?’

“Questions like this show you’re not one dimensional, but really putting yourself in the shoes of the interviewer to understand what their needs are, what their culture is like and what they’re looking for.”

4. Communicate clearly

You don’t need to impress people with academic words or industry jargon.

Simply communicate in a way that’s genuine, clear and considered.

Nerves can make it harder to get your message across so try to calm yourself with some breathing exercises before an interview or taking a sip of water before responding to a question.

Remember to listen carefully, take your time and focus on being true to yourself when answering questions.

To help you plan, prepare and ace your next interview, download SEEK’s interview checklist.

5. Demonstrate your passion

Employers want people working for them to be passionate and motivated by the work they do.

Passionate employees are usually more productive and contribute to a positive working environment.

Let interviewees know why you are interested in the work and how it aligns to your skills and interests, and your passion should shine through.

Importantly, don’t fake it. You want to show that you’re not a big talker, but that you’re authentic and truly inspired by the role.

Showing your passion and curiosity for a role, expressing your confidence, communication skills and being yourself will all help you make a great and lasting impression.

And, aside from standing out in interviews, these qualities can help you find new opportunities in the future.

For more job hunting tips, visit SEEK Career Advice.

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