It would, in a perfect world, be much easier if a future employer employed people solely on what they write on a CV or Linkedin profile. Indeed writing about your journey is the easy part, it’s much harder to express.
Recruiters today though, are more cued in to the “feeling” or impression that you give, right from the outset of the inter-action. It starts with the initial e-mail message and then is by what you say and how you act. In other words, you’ve got to walk the talk!
So, after coaching many a candidate I thought I’d share 5 stand-out tips that make a huge difference to me. It could also be why some people bring a positive first impression right from the word go.

1. Be effective and efficient

Starting with the initial email to the hiring manager which could lead to the interview, don’t forget to grab their attention and not forget the subject line of the mail describing what the exact position is you’re applying for. Equally, in a cover letter – make sure you let them know the subject of your letter, by putting a “Concerns” line at the top.
These tiny things will immediately make you seem more together and organized.

2. Talk positively

This is a classic issue that people of all ages find difficult. Think of this as “talking yourself up” rather than bragging. Even if the interviewer asks you questions about negative situations from your life and experience, make sure you finish off the answer with a positive outcome and let them know what the situation brought/taught you. People want to hear how you accept difficult situations and not how you throw blame around.

3. Qualities and Weaknesses

Rule of thumb is to have 3 qualities and 1 weakness to talk about (you can have 2 other weaknesses up your sleeve, but don’t just talk about them automatically). Your qualities should be described using emphatic words like “very” “always” “really” – and of course the opposite applies for your weakness, the words “sometimes” and “maybe” will make it seem smaller. Make sure you look back at your life to understand what it is about yourself that’s special – are you a good team player, responsible, reliable or a quick-learner? Whatever you say of course should have an example to back it up in case they ask. Remember to bring the weakness into a positive light by giving proof of how you’re over-coming it.

4. Be a story-teller

People enjoy to hear stories and will often ask you to give examples of situations that you have been through to be credible. Just remember these 3 important points to make your story logical, clear and to help you get to the point quickly and effectively:

1. What was the situation?
2. What did you do about it?
3. What was the outcome?

5. Be confident and strong in your body language.

People will judge you within 10 seconds as you appear either online or in a room. Pull yourself up to a tall pose, look them straight in the eye with a smile and give a firm hand-shake, if you’re physically present, or give them a warm greeting if you’re online. This will make your interviewer initially warm to you, get them listening more attentively and enjoy talking to you, which is of course the perfect start to any interview.

I hope this has been helpful – now all you need to do is put it into practice…and never forget, practice makes perfect!

About the Author:
Gillian Lana is an experienced International Career and Interview Coach and works with some of the top Private Universities in the world, coaching graduates to find employment. She also works individually online with people from all over the world, so if you’d like to have some help and positive support to launch your career, get in touch: