Before starting a new job or going in for an interview, it can be hard to act professionally while also making a good impression. There is definitely a fine line between being sociable and friendly and being overly-excited and nosy. Being friendly comes naturally when we are around friends and family, yet being around employers can inhibit us from our normal conversation starters, making it hard to be ourselves. Here are some tips for making a good impression while keeping things professional.
Prepare yourself before any interview
Do your research and make sure you know the company's mission and goals before going in for your interview. Employers love when they see that you have done your research and are truly interested in the company and its employees. Nobody is going to think that you are weird for saying, 'I think it is so interesting that you got a degree in Journalism and went on to work for a tech company, could you tell me more about that?'. Not only is knowing about the company useful for a regular interview, it is very helpful when going into an informational interview.
Don't make it too personal
You will be entering a professional environment—this means acting professionally. Making the time to get to know your employer is important. Knowing general facts about the company is great. Being friendly towards potential employees is key. Knowing every single fact about the company including the birthday of every employee and the address of every location across the country is unnecessary and could be off-putting.
Know your social media etiquette
Don't send your employer daily messages on Linkedin or ask if they will hire you over e-mail. These are surefire ways to not get hired. Adding the person you are interviewing on Linkedin after an interview is professional and even sending a 'thank you for your time' e-mail.
Make sure your social media profiles are professional
Be aware that employers might be looking at your social media! They could be trying to get a sense of what kind of person you are and if you would be a good employee to hire. Make sure that you keep your social media profiles professional, if you are looking to be hired.
As you can see, being prepared and knowledgeable about a company can be very helpful for leaving a good first impression. Know when to limit or filter yourself in order to keep things professional between you and an employer is equally as important. Next time you are job-searching don't be afraid to do some research—check Linkedin, look at the company's website, maybe even look at your interviewers social media. Also, make sure to check your own media presence because they might be doing the same!
by Ellie, Career Peer Advisor