PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SUCESS
The more time you spend preparing for an upcoming interview, the better impression you’re going to make and the more likely you will be hired. Below are some great videos to get you started. Watch as many as you can. We like to plan on success, so even if you haven’t heard back if you will be interviewed or not, it makes sense to get this work done now.
Click any of the sections to jump to it
PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
Showing up to your interview unprepared and believing you will just “wing it” is a huge mistake.
Spend at least one hour thoroughly reading every page on the company’s web site.
It is extremely important that you are able to talk intelligently about what they do.
Understand exactly what products or services the company sells and who are their customers.
Be prepared to intelligently answer the question, “Tell me what we do here?”
What does the company do really well and what makes them unique?
What are their challenges?
Check out their competitors’ web pages too…it’s important to get a good feel for the industry and who the players are.
Google the company to read news articles, social medial posts, and employee reviews to be armed with great conversation topics.
Read the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile to learn about his previous positions, where he or she went to school, and hobbies.
Jot down bullet points in a notebook and bring them to the interview.
This will prove that you did your homework and really want the job.
Before you receive a job offer, rest assured that the hiring team will look search for you on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see if they can learn a little bit more about you.
So review all of your social media pages right now to remove any controversial posts or pictures.
First, create a free account on a site called BrandYourself.com.
It’s an awesome service that shows you what public content of yours is viewable to others.
If you spot any pictures or text featuring excessively partying, political rants, foul language, sexual situations, drugs, or anything that makes you wonder if it would be inappropriate, remove it immediately.
A good rule of thumb: If you would be embarrassed if your new boss, colleagues, or your grandmother saw the content, then remove it immediately.
You could always add it back AFTER you’ve been hired.
For now though, you want to have a squeaky clean public image.
The best way avoid being nervous during an interview is to anticipate questions you may be asked and then thoroughly prepare your answers beforehand.
It’s rare that you should be surprised by a question.
It’s the uncertainty of being forced to quickly think of a clever answer on the spot that makes job-seekers’ hands sweat.
Turn that nervous energy into confidence. It’s easy!
If you practice your answers ahead of time — in front with a friend or the mirror — you’ll be relaxed, confident, and ready to impress the hiring manager.
Here are nine popular questions.
Prepare your answers now because most likely, you’re going to get at least some of them.
“Tell me about yourself?”
“Why do you want to work here?”
“What are your strengths?”
“What are your weaknesses?”
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“What is your greatest accomplishment?”
“Describe a setback you’ve faced and how you overcame it.”
“What did you do at your former company?”
“Why should we hire you?”
Google “what’s the best way to answer the question” for ideas of what to include in your answers.
Make sure your answers sound appropriate for you.
Also expect to receive questions about your most recent one or two work experiences.
What was it like to work at this company? or What did you do there?
You should have a few examples of well-thought out answers for these questions.
Each answer should convey a positive attribute about you — a technical skill, character trait, etc.
Never lie or mislead.
Just be honest, transparent, and be yourself.
Avoid canned responses that sound fake or memorized.
Schedule 15-minute for an interview prep call preferably on video and at least a couple days before your scheduled interview time — with your 7 Eagle Group Manager.
He or she knows exactly what the hiring manager wants to hear from you.
You can practice answers to popular questions and get any last-minute questions answered about the position or company.
This “behind-the-scenes” information will help you build confidence, ace the interview, and give you a huge edge of your competitors.
STEP 1 — MAKE SURE ZOOM WORKS, YOUR CAMERA & AUDIO
- If you plan to us a laptop, confirm the Video and Audio to work properly. Test it with a friend.
- If you plan to use a Cell Phone (often a lot easier than a laptop and better quality too), download the free Zoom or Teams app.
STEP 2 — STAGE YOUR ROOM
- Identify a bright spot in your house so the video quality is sharp.
- The light source should be in front of you so your face is clear.
- A solid color wall free of clutter is an ideal backdrop.
- Select at quiet room free of dogs, TVs playing, or other background noises.
STEP 3 — POSITION YOUR CAMERA
- Prop up your phone or laptop on books or a shelf so it’s eye level (not looking up at you).
- Holding a phone while recording yourself results in a wobbly and amateur looking video
- Record horizontally, not vertically, so it’s a wide-angle view.
- Maintain eye contact with the camera lens when you are talking.
- If your eyes are looking down or at the ceiling, it conveys a lack of confidence.
STEP 4 — DRESS SHARP
- Wear the same outfit you would to attend an in-person interview — at least from the waist up!
- No tee shirts, baseball hats, or recording from your car seat.
- It’s okay to overdress!
- For example, a cyber analyst might wear a hoodie to work every day, but for an interview — or your Video Intro — you’ll be taken more seriously and make a great first impression if you wear a button-down shirt.
STEP 5 — BE YOURSELF
- Imagine you’re having a casual and relaxed conversation with a buddy.
- You want to appear loose and not come off as stiff.
- Do not read from a script.
- It’s extremely easy for a hiring manager to notice your eyes darting back and forth, and that looks horrible.
- Just be yourself and let your personality shine.
- That always makes the best impression.
STEP 6 — SMILE!
- Smile often!
- It’s extremely important that you look like you’re having fun, enjoying yourself, and would be a pleasure to work with you.
- It’s okay to laugh and not be so serious.
STEP 7 — ENTHUSIASTIC TONE
- Show energy and enthusiasm in your voice, hand gestures, and facial expressions.
- It’s crucial you sound excited for this job opportunity.
- Dull, monotone, and super serious candidates rarely get hired.
STEP 8 — BE CONFIDENT
- Be aware of your posture.
- Sit tall in your chair – shoulders back, no slouching, no crossed arms.
STEP 9 — THINK THROUGH WANT YOU WANT TO SAY
- Spend 30 minutes now thinking about what you want to say when we’re recording, and your Video Intro will be amazing.
- Again, don’t memorize or write down a script. Just think about what you would say so you’re relaxed and confident when the camera is rolling.
Keep the focus on why you’re a great candidate. It’s okay to boast about your accomplishments. This is no place to be modest!
- Avoid long-winded answers and irrelevant details — be concise and get your points across quickly and confidently.
HOW TO IMPRESS ON INTERVIEW DAY
If you’re unsure what to wear, the safe play is to overdress so you look professional.
Dress one rank above — for example, wear what the supervisor of the position you’re going for wears.
Even if the position only requires casual attire, wear nicer clothes so you make a great first impression.
For guys: never wear anything less than slacks, button-down dress shirt, dress shoes, dark dress socks. No jeans, tee-shirts, baseball hats, sneakers, etc.
For women: appropriate business interview attire like skirt, jacket, nice shoes, etc.
Iron your interview attire or get it dry-cleaned…no wrinkles!
Shower, shave, use deodorant, and brush your hair…look sharp!
Go easy on the cologne or perfume…you don’t want your scent to be how they remember you.
Cover up any tattoos if possible.
Remove excessive jewelry.
Never smoke before the interview. The smell will stay on your clothes.
Take pride in your appearance so you look sharp,
You’ll feel more confident and impress any hiring manager.
Plug in the address of the hiring company into Google Maps beforehand so you know exactly what time you need to leave your house.
Arrive at least 30 minutes early so you’re relaxed and not stressed and sweaty from rushing.
It’s important that you arrive with time to spare.
NEVER be late to an interview. It’s an instant way to get put in the reject pile.
You should print the directions too just in case you lose internet connection while driving.
Also make sure you have the name of the person interviewing you, his or her phone and email, and any specific parking or building entry instructions.
If you sense you will be even five minutes late, ALWAYS phone the interviewer as soon as possible before your allotted time to apologize and let him/her know when you will arrive.
If you cannot connect to the hiring manager, call your 7 Eagle Group manager immediately.
Arrive early to your interview so you are calm and ready to go.
Wait in your car beforehand and listen to music or relax with deep breathing.
You can even go for a walk to get some nervous energy out.
Imagine a scene in your mind of you nailing the interview, and impressing the hiring manager, and getting offered the job.
Play it over and over.
Be confident and plan on success!
Do a touchdown pose in the parking lot or in the the bathroom — hands over your head and repeat confidently to yourself, “I got this!”
It sounds silly, but it’s scientifically proven to have a positive effect and increase your performance.
Leave your phone in the car.
If you do bring it to the interview, turn it off, and NEVER take it out of your pocket.
Do NOT smoke a cigarette before your interview…you don’t want to stink.
Enter the building five minutes early…no sooner!
The first impression you convey to the hiring managers is crucial, so make it count!
Be the first to extend your hand and give a warm greeting, i.e. “Hi, I’m Jordie, it’s so nice to meet you and thank you so much for this opportunity to interview for the position. I’m really excited.”
Use a firm handshake…no wet fishes!
Mirror the strength of the handshake. If you get a firm one, give a firm one back. If you get a more delicate one, don’t crush the other person’s knuckles.
Maintain good eye contact.
Have an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude.
Pay attention and be in the moment.
This is so important.
Employers hire people who are friendly, have a great position attitude, and fun.
Watch your posture when standing or seated…head up, shoulders back, chest out…carry yourself tall.
Do not slouch.
It makes you look small and weak.
When sitting, rest you hands comfortably in your lap, fingers crossed.
Do not cross arms or place your elbows on the table.
It’s okay to have one leg crossed, heel or shin resting on opposite knee.
Your shoulders should always face the person you’re speaking to.
Be friendly to anyone you meet…assistants, other job applicants, the janitor, etc.
You never know who can influence the hiring decision.
It’s really important that you’re comfortable talking with people you’ve just met and are good at small talk.
Google “how to small talk” so you’re confident starting a light conversation.
Definitely watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted.com talk on body language…it’s excellent!
Make sure to watch our video featured on our app, “Prepare For Your Interview Questions” if you haven’t yet.
It’s crucial that you anticipate the questions you are going to receive before the actual interview so you have time to prepare great answers.
Do this and you’ll feel less nervous.
You’ll interview with more confidence because you won’t have the uneasy feeling of having to think of a clever answer on the spot.
You’ll already know the answers you want to provide.
Now this one is important.
When answering questions, always talk in terms of what the company wants, not what you want. i.e.
Here is an example of a self-serving answer a hiring manager does not want to hear.
“I’m looking for a company where I can develop my skills and have more job stability,”
Instead, talk only about the value and contribution you will bring to the company — specifically about how you are going to help the company achieve its goals, increase profits, and what makes you a great employee.
It’s okay to take a couple of seconds to think about what you want to say before you begin talking.
You won’t be penalized for this.
In fact, it shows that you are engaged, paying attention, and eager to give a great response.
Answer each question you get succinctly and then stop talking.
Do not ramble on.
Memorize at least one great example from the military or past jobs that demonstrates your top notch skills, dedication, hard-work ethic, leadership, etc.
Prepare a different example for each of your best character traits.
When constructing your answers, use this format:
Describe the problem, describe what you did to solve it, and then describe the specific result you achieved.
Don’t just say you’re a hard worker or a people person.
That’s vague and meaningless.
Give a specific and measurable example that proves it.
Hiring managers want to hear how handle a challenge, deal with adversity, lead co-workers, take direction, communicate with customers, generate new business, reduce expenses, etc.
Here’s an example: ”Our entire staff was divided on how to obtain an important new account. I decided to get everyone together and I led a really construction discussion that got everyone back on track. As a result, we landed the account which generated $75,000 in new revenue…our biggest account to date. My boss was so impressed with my initiative, that invited me to lunch with the CEO.”
Answering questions like this proves that you’re results-oriented and focused…traits employers love.
Also, keep every answer positive.
Never speak badly about a past boss, company, or colleague — even if you were fired or hated your boss.
That reflects poorly on you.
Right up until the point you receive a job offer — during all of your interviews — imagine you are a sales rep and the hiring manager is a potential customer.
Remember, you are only one of many candidates and it is up to you to convince the hiring manager that you are the best match.
So constantly promote yourself and let the manager know about how much value you can bring to their organization.
Volunteer this information throughout the interview…don’t make him or her have to pry to get it out of you.
Now is not the time for modesty — it’s okay to boast about your accomplishments in a non-conceited manner.
Don’t make the mistake of sitting back and having the attitude that the hiring manager must convince on why you should work at the company.
Even if you’re in demand and other companies are recruiting you aggressively, continue to think of yourself as a sales rep and the company as the buyer.
Remember, the more job offers you receive, the better position you’ll be in to get the highest possible salary.
Also, avoid asking the “self-serving questions” during the initial interviews — vacation days, the medical plan, promotions, and when is quitting time each day.
If you do, the company will assume you are more concerned with your own needs and probably not the team-player they want to hire.
For now, your job is to constantly sell yourself.
Once the hiring manager is convinced you’re the best person for the job and decides to make you an offer to you, then the roles flip.
You can now become the buyer, the hiring manager becomes the seller, and you can get all of your concerns and questions addressed.
As your interview winds down, you will be asked, “So, what questions do you have for us”
Always have a few well thought out questions ready to ask.
It’s a horrible mistake to say, “No questions. You answered everything.”
Hiring managers take that as a sign of non-interest.
Avoid questions that are easily found on the web page (i.e. “When were you founded? What products do you offer?”) — it just proves you did not do your homework.
If you need some clever ideas of what to ask, Google “Best interview questions to ask.”
Two good ones:
What makes someone great at this position and what are the biggest challenges someone in this position faces?
However he or she answers those questions, follow them up with positive statements.
For example, if the manager says “Anyone who can sell $250,000 of product/year is a superstar employee.” explain how you’ve always exceeded all of your sales goals and provide numbers to back it up.
If the manager says, “One of the challenges of working here is you need to have a flexible schedule and be willing to travel 25% of the time,” say “I love to travel and would thoroughly enjoy working in a variety of locations…it would never be dull, that’s for sure!”
Remember, you’re interviewing the company as well to make sure this position will be a good fit for you.
These two questions also give you a chance to evaluate if your potential new boss’ expectations are realistic and this is a company you can envision yourself working for.
Avoid all self-serving questions dealing with work hours, vacation days, benefits, salary, promotions, company car, etc. until AFTER you get an offer.
If you get asked the question, “So what’s your salary requirement?”, that’s a great sign they’re interested in you.
However, this is a tricky one so be careful how you answer it because it could cost you dearly.
Resist the urge to divulge the the salary you want.
Think of this as a poker game with the goal being to get the hiring manager to lay down his or her cards on the table first.
Once you share a specific salary, you might just have priced yourself too high — or too low — for the position.
A much better strategy is to negotiate your salary after you get an offer.
If asked the question, answer with something like:
“I’m 100% confident we’ll be able to work out a fair salary if you decide to offer me a position.
I’m more concerned right now with making sure that I’m a good fit for you and that this company is the best place for my career right now.”
If asked an illegal question like ”What are you making right now?”, the best approach is not to call them out on it, but to instead respond with a vague answer like:
I would prefer to focus on the value I can add to this company rather than what I’m paid at my current job. I don’t have a specific number in mind for a desired salary, and you know better than I do what value my skillset and experience could bring to your company. I’m excited about _____(mention something specific that demonstrates your interest in the job) and am looking forward to hearing more about your goals for this position. I want this move to be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility and compensation.”
Expect your interview to reveal some concerns you may have about working at the company — maybe red flags regarding vacations, the medical plan, salary increases, promotions, work hours, or something you witnessed during the interview.
Addressing your concerns during this first interview is often a mistake.
It makes you sounds like someone who is only interested in him or herself, or someone who is going to complain a lot.
For example, the manager mentions that all employees are required to work every other Saturday. If you question that policy now, it will look like you’re not a team player.
It’s much more important for you to keep the tone of this initial meeting positive and upbeat.
There will be plenty of opportunities to get all of your concerns addressed after you get the job offer.
It’s much easier to negotiate too and get exactly what you want once the client decides you’re their #1 choice.
As the interview winds down and you sense that they like you and this company is your top choice, go right at them with a question like this:
“What concerns do you have about me being a perfect fit for this position?
Anything about my skills or background that I can clarify?”
When you’re finished with the interview, give the hiring manager a firm handshake, look him or her in the eye, stand up tall and leave them with a confident statement about why you’re the best fit for the position.
Something like this:
“You mentioned you need someone to manage and supervise the 75 manufacturing workers and improve the production numbers. I know I can do that exceptionally well for you and exceed all of your expectations. This is right in my wheelhouse and exactly what I want to do with my career right now. I’ll represent your organization with nothing but class and professionalism. Give me a shot, and I’m you’ll be proud you selected me. Thanks again for the opportunity to be considered for this critical position. I really appreciate your time and would be honored to join your team.”
Make sure you get the business cards of anyone you met so you can send thank you notes the moment you get home.
IMMEDIATE AFTER YOUR INTERVIEW
It’s important you take five minutes immediately upon exiting the interview to phone your 7 Eagle Group manager. Don’t wait until you get home.
We want to hear from you while everything is fresh in your mind.
The company’s hiring manager usually phones us right away and it’s important for us to know exactly what you liked and didn’t like about the company.
If there’s mutual interest, the manager usually wants to know what it will take financially to get you to accept an offer
Honest feedback puts us in a strong position to best represent you and obtain the financial package you want.
Write a hand-written thank you note to everyone who interviewed you and mail it immediately.
An old-fashioned letter proves that you really want the job and makes a powerful impression because so few people make this effort.
If you prefer email, send it immediate after you get home.
Double-check all spelling of names and titles before sending the letter or email.
Keep it brief and reiterate your interest and how much value you could bring to the company.
Mention something specific from the interview so your letter has a personal feel.
If you’re unsure what to write, email a draft to your 7 Eagle Group manager if you would like to have an outside opinion on your note before you send it.
STARTING YOUR NEW JOB
Never underestimate how important it is to make a good impression at work.
When your boss and colleagues realize they can rely on you to do a great job, then you’ll likely begin to receive greater responsibility.
That, in turn, can lead to promotions and raises.
People will judge you whether they realize it or not.
It’s up to you to portray the right image and do so confidently, but not arrogantly.
By carefully preparing for your first appearance on the job, you can control what kind of an impression you’ll make.
Scientists believe that it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion of you.
In those few seconds, you’re being judged based on your words, actions, body language, and mannerisms.
And once you’ve made an impression, it can be incredibly hard to start over again.
In other words, the way you portray yourself on your first day will set the tone for the rest of your time at your job.
Follow these tips to help you develop a reputation as a superstar employee, and avoid the mistakes typically associated with starting a new job.
Let your enthusiasm for being part of the team and the organization show through to everyone you interact with.
Leave your personal problems at home and concentrate on radiating your excitement for this new professional opportunity.
You should never underestimate the importance of dressing appropriately.
The way you dress will impact you significantly.
The best way to decide what you should wear is to ask and to observe those around you.
If you’re unsure what to wear, overdress so you look sharp.
Body language and posture are crucial when it comes to projecting confidence.
By being confident, you’ll have an easier time meeting new people and will make others feel more comfortable around you.
Conversations will flow easier and you’ll feel a lot more at ease with yourself.
So don’t be nervous!
You’ve already shown that you’re just as qualified as everyone else to be there.
You may be worried that people might not like you, or that you won’t be a good fit for the company’s culture.
But just remember that they wouldn’t have hired you on if they didn’t think you were a good fit.
Go in prepared, positive, and ready to work – and you’ll have no trouble making getting things started on the right foot.
Introducing yourself may sound like something you’ve got down—you’ve been doing it for years, after all.
But when it comes to those early intros to all your new co-workers, you want to have a plan because first-day you is going to be nervous enough without having to ad lib your way through these crucial meetings.
The good news is that you have so much more control than you think over how these initial conversations play out.
And just a little bit of preparation here will go a long way.
Maybe you want to say a thing or two about your previous role and company and mention that side hustle you’re passionate about.
Or maybe you want to talk about where you grew up or the neighborhood you live in.
You should have some sense of the culture by now to gauge whether you should keep it strictly about your professional experience or mix in some fun personality.
If you’re entering a very formal, corporate environment, you might want to stick with your past experience, what you’ll be doing at the new company, and what projects you’re especially excited to work on.
But if you’re heading into a more casual environment, you can probably also tell people about how you follow baseball religiously, enjoy mountain biking, or love to scout out the best ice cream in the city.
The most important thing is that you feel ready and comfortable sharing a few tidbits to get those first chats going.
So spend a little bit of time thinking about what want to say and then actually practice with a friend or family member.
It’ll be much easier than thinking up the right details on the spot when you’re already nervous.
If you are bad with names, now is the time to spend more time remembering them.
Because it shows that you care.
Your coworkers will definitely appreciate the fact that you took the time to learn their names so quickly.
For each person you meet, collect a business card.
Jot down a few notes on the back of the card. Include a few facts that you learned about the person.
Then, study the cards to remind yourself of the new people on the team.
Paste their LinkedIn profile pictures to the backs to help you put a face to each name.
When a concern arises or something bothers you, please speak to your boss about it in a professional way.
Do NOT let problems fester.
That only makes them worse.
Starting a new job is a stressful and uncertain time.
Communication is key.
Your 7 Eagle Manager is always available to discuss any issues with you anytime.
Please reach out to us too if we can help you.
In theory, you should have already done your homework during the interviewing process, but there is always a lot more to learn once you’re on the inside.
Get an employee handbook on your first day and study it.
Read reports and company literature to become an expert on your organization.
You may also find great information on the press page of your new company’s website, or on internet news websites.
Take notes on all the systems and rules of your new organization. Attend all orientation sessions and accept any training.
Study your onboarding manual.
Nothing will get you up to speed at a new job faster.
Be a sponge for new information.
Your participation shows interest and ambition, and an eagerness to contribute.
In most situations, you will be given small doses of work at the beginning of a new job.
Starting slowly allows you to get your feet wet without getting overwhelmed.
As you finish assignments and are ready to handle a bigger workload, take the initiative and ask for more assignments.
First, get comfortable with your position.
Then, after checking with your boss to make sure you’re on the right track, open yourself up to additional opportunities at the company.
Volunteer to take on new tasks or join committees.
Being open to these opportunities is a great way to meet other colleagues, demonstrate leadership and be a team player.
Just be sure not to let volunteering for new tasks, roles, and committees interfere with the main tasks of your position.
And be sure to check in with your boss from time to time to make sure you’re meeting all of his or her expectations before assuming new roles.
Be the first to arrive at your office and the last to leave every day.
Don’t ever let your boss beat you in or stay later.
Do this until it becomes a habit.
Remember, you can’t be a go-getter and clock-watcher at the same time, so plan to be at work a little longer than your typical eight-hour workday.
Avoid long lunches.
Once you understand the office culture better, you may be able to shift your hours or take longer lunches, but in the beginning, err on the side of spending more time at work to make a great first impression.
Taking these steps will help you to establish a good attendance record.
Yes, there will be emergencies, and, yes, you may get sick, but as best you can, try to make it to work every day during those first weeks and months on the job.
If you absolutely must request time off, always promise to make up the missed hours in your free time.
Never, ever, bash a former/current boss or colleague, no matter how you were wronged or what your opinion is of them.
There is no upside for you.
Trash-talking won’t earn you a good impression at your new job.
As tempting as it might be to tell horror stories about the time your old boss went on a rampage, how your incompetent coworker lost a huge contract, or you felt the company was treating workers shabbily, refrain from this kind of talk.
It makes you look bad, especially when you’re new.
Word gets around in many industries, and you don’t want people to know you’re saying unsavory things about them.
It’s unprofessional, unkind, and could hamper future opportunities.
Everyone conducts some amount of personal business on company time — checking email, making dinner reservations, texting, shopping online.
Your goal is to keep your personal business to a minimum and stay focused on work.
If you need to make a personal call, step away from your desk.
If you need to make a reservation or take care of other business online, do it quickly and discreetly, and, if possible, do it from your cell phone.
Also, never use your work email for personal communication.
Companies are legally allowed to monitor and read your work emails without permission.
Don’t let anyone outwork you…ever!
Working hard takes zero skill.
It might seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: focus on always doing quality work.
If the quality of your work stands out, it will help you stand out, and can counter any of your initial shortcomings.
A company can train an employee to do a skill, but it can’t teach work ethic, perseverance or passion.
When finishing a project, instead of kicking back and surfing social media, be proactive and find other projects, help other team members or find another way to make yourself useful.
Many organizations host after-hour activities, such as sports leagues.
Get involved — even if only as a cheerleader — because these types of activities are great ways to bond with your coworkers.
Do be on your best behavior during these outside-work activities, though.
Avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage, and never get drunk.
Practice listening 90% of the time, and talking just 10% of the time.
This is one of the hardest skills to learn, especially for extroverts. However, you don’t want to get the reputation as the office know-it-all — or worse, someone who always has to have the limelight.
If you have a legitimate contribution, make it, but if not, listening more and talk less.
You may have so many different projects going on at any given time that it becomes difficult to remember everything you have accomplished over time.
Start now and you will build this practice into your routine.
It will help you to improve your own performance and increase your chances of receiving a raise or promotion down the road, and for future job-hunting.
They are also a great resource for when you go through your annual performance review process.
Having a list of your accomplishments demonstrates your impact in the best possible way.
It’s important to show your appreciation at work for the help that others will give you.
And, nothing shows appreciation as well as kindness and genuine sentiment.
Show your appreciation to everyone who helps you learn the ropes — from your coworkers to receptionists to the folks in human resources.
Recognizing those who have helped you get acclimated will show your gratitude, will do wonders for making a good first impression.
To show your appreciation, start with these two very simple words: “thank you.”
You may want to also follow up your verbal appreciation with a handwritten thank you note, or a thank you email.
If the person has really gone out of their way for you, consider treating them to lunch.
Develop mentoring relationships with several senior people in the organization.
Mentoring has numerous benefits, from a simple sounding board to someone who helps direct and advances your career within the organization.
Ask your mentors lots of questions, show a genuine interest in their career, and make sure to regularly thank them for their support and guidance.
If you’re one of those super-organized people, this tip will be easy for you.
The rest of us, however, need to develop a system for keeping track of meetings, appointments, assignments, and projects.
Get an organizer or planner and keep on top of all your work. Use an online calendar with reminders set for important deadlines.
Make an Excel spreadsheet or just write a simple to-do list at the beginning and end of every day.
Everyone has a different system that works best for them.
As you look ahead, set goals for yourself and then strive to achieve them.
Revise your goals list every few months.
What’s important to you now may be different from when you have when you’ve been in a position for six months or a year.
Having a weekly 15-minute meeting with your new boss to keep him or her informed of how you are doing is very important.
In addition to helping you stay on track with assignments and deadlines, meeting with your boss helps establish a rapport and relationship.
It is likely that your new boss will not initiate setting up a weekly meeting with you.
Ask your boss verbally if he or she is okay with a meeting, agree on a time, and then send your boss a recurring meeting invitation.
Make sure you ask your manager or team leader how they prefer to communicate, and set up regular one-on-ones.
Your manager will appreciate you taking the initiative, and a regular meeting is a great way to ensure you’re both kept up-to-date and expectations are met on both sides.
At work, take advantage of every opportunity to network with key people by attending staff meetings, conferences, and trade shows.
Use every opportunity to meet colleagues in your field.
Networking with key people can help you to identify mentors within your organization.
Outside of work, join a professional organization or take additional classes to stay ahead in your field.
Just because you have a new job does not mean that you should suspend your networking.
You should constantly manage and grow your network of contacts.
You will at some point make a mistake at work.
It may even be a big one.
It happens to everyone. How you handle the blunder will influence your manager’s opinion of you much more than the mistake itself.
The first thing you should do is admit what happened.
Don’t ignore your error or try to place the blame on anyone else.
Instead, take full responsibility and then come up with a way to fix your mistake.
Even though your boss may be upset you made an error in the first place, he or she will at least recognize that you did all the right things when responding to it.
Do you think coming to work when you’re sick instead of staying at home will impress your boss?
Reasonable bosses know that sick employees are not only unproductive, but they can also spread germs around the office.
What good will it do anyone if an entire staff has to take a sick day?
If you have a fever or think your illness might be contagious, then take the day off.
You can catch up on your workload when you return to work, or if you’re feeling up to it, get some done from home if your employer allows it.
When an unexpected crisis happens at work—the caterer skips town before a big conference your company is hosting or a computer crashes—who will make a better impression on the boss: the employer who panics or the one who springs into action to fix the problem?
Learn how to deal with workplace crises quickly and effectively.
One way to do this is to imagine different scenarios beforehand and come up with plans to react to each one.
Then, if the unexpected ever happens, you’ll be fully prepared to deal with it.
Bosses tend to like it when their workplaces are calm.
Who can blame them?
When employees work together harmoniously, they can focus on their jobs.
Avoid starting conversations about topics that make people uncomfortable and could even lead to arguments.
Steer clear of talking about politics, sexuality, or religion for instance.
When coworkers respect one another, they get along better—and few things are more important to a boss than that.
No one wants their employees fighting.
Always avoid acting in an uncivil manner toward any of your coworkers.
Be on time to work, especially if you are relieving someone from their shift.
Don’t ever take credit for another person’s work.
Always share the workload. Apologize if you ever manage to offend your coworker.
When you attend a conference or large business meeting on your employer’s behalf, it’s your job to make a good impression.
It will reflect well on your organization, and your boss will appreciate your efforts.
Dress appropriately and network with other attendees.
Make sure to bring back information to share with your boss and coworkers if they could not attend the meeting.
It’s easy to use your phone as a security blanket during silences, or as something to fidget with when you’re not sure what to do.
But you need to have the willpower to avoid using your phone because it will only affect your image negatively.
It sends a message that you’re not giving your full attention to the job, or to those around you.
Your phone should be put away, and it shouldn’t be seen on your desk, or on the table at a meeting.
In fact, to make an even better impression, try to become known as the person who doesn’t use their phone at work.
That will make you stand out as a disciplined, focused employee.
There is nothing wrong with having questions.
There will naturally be things that you’re not familiar with, or that you need clarification about.
However, you can unintentionally come across as disrespectful by approaching your supervisor and asking questions at times when they’re busy or when the answer is easily findable.
It’s your responsibility to establish how and when your boss prefers to be asked questions. This will not only get you better responses, but it will make you seem respectful, proactive, and thoughtful.
One of the most important things you can do at a new job is to be open to new ways of doing things.
Be humble and refrain from phrases like, “In my last job….”
It’s great to draw on previous knowledge and experience you bring to the workplace, but don’t act like your old methods were better.
Be open and receptive to learning new ways to work.
One of the most important things you can do at a new job is to be open to new ways of doing things.
Be humble and refrain from phrases like, “In my last job….”
It’s great to draw on previous knowledge and experience you bring to the workplace, but don’t act like your old methods were better.
Be open and receptive to learning new ways to work.
If your job provides you with a company phone, software, or even a computer setup that’s not quite to your liking, don’t complain about it.
While the time might come down the line to discuss upgrading software or ordering a new chair, the first few days of your new job is not the time to ask.
Unless you have specific ADA issues that require an accommodation, work with what your new company provides.
After you prove to be a stellar, high-value employee, you can inquire about upgrades.
It’s easy to go into a new role armed with assumptions about what to expect.
Make sure you don’t go in with preconceived ideas about the job, the organization, or your boss.
It’s also important to manage your expectations.
For example, if you aren’t too sure of the details of your role, don’t go in thinking you’ll get clients straightaway.
On the other hand, don’t assume you’ll just be stuck in the mailroom either.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when first starting a new position is not getting to know their co-workers from the get-go.
Many people focus on getting their initial tasks right, or impressing their manager – but, without the support of co-workers, you can become isolated very quickly.
Make a plan to meet everyone in your team.
Shake hands, have a chat, tell them something small about yourself.
After all, they’ll be the people who’ll help to get you settled in and feeling comfortable in your new role.
Don’t be aloof, arrogant, or too quiet.
Being open, positive and friendly is key. You haven’t been hired because you need to prove yourself.
You’re there to help and people will want to help you in return.
It’s important to ask questions and discuss concerns when needed.
For many companies, cultural fit is hugely important.
Your own long-term success, as well as the company, depends on how the team works. This means you need to be part of that as soon as you can.
If you feel comfortable enough on day one to make a joke or have fun, that’s a very good sign.
There’s also the possibility that you’ll be asked out to socialize.
Make sure you go – it’s a good situation to see people out of work mode and to show your true personality.
You should always show up to work with a smile on your face.
It’ll make you appear friendlier and more approachable to your coworkers.
Be sure to smile with your eyes, too.
Like all things, you can practice smiling in the mirror to make sure your smile comes out naturally and unforced.
No one likes a limp or sweaty handshake.
It’s just bad etiquette.
Advice for a good handshake: dry, firm, solid, and 3 seconds.
The key here is to not squeeze too hard or too soft.
Apply the right amount of pressure while maintaining eye contact, and don’t pump more than 2-3 times.
This goes hand-in-hand with being an attentive listener.
Let them finish their sentence.
Ask questions but don’t interrupt someone who is speaking.
Be careful not to say or do anything that may offend the other person.
However, if the other person says something to offend you, be calm and focus on the positives.
Remember that their words are a reflection of themselves – not you.
Body posture is so important for a good first impression.
Don’t cross your arms or roll your eyes when someone is speaking.
It may come off in a negative way. Instead, try to nod and smile as the other person is talking.
Make eye contact and try to be relaxed.
Positive body language will help your coworkers feel much more comfortable around you.
Small talk and conversation is a great way to build relationships.
Forget about the weather.
Talk to your coworkers about your favorite hobbies, sports, news, or your family instead.
This way, you can find some common ground for more things to talk about.
Once you have familiarized yourself with your role and feel more comfortable, ask your boss for feedback — the more, the better.
That way you can make sure you are fitting into the expectations and the cultural norms and, if you don’t, you can make the necessary adjustments.
You definitely should speak up, contribute to projects and discussions and make recommendations for improvement if you see processes, policies or bottlenecks that seem to be hindering productivity but do so within reason.
As a new hire, tread lightly. You may not understand the context of a policy or process.
Ask questions first, and then assess whether or not you should suggest alternatives.
It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth.
A great first impression is important, but don’t forget to just be yourself.
Be confident, put on a smile, and show them your best self.
No one else does it better than you.
Being the newest member of the organization — the rookie — is both challenging and exciting.
Remember to relax, keep your mind open, get to know your team members, and do your work.
These things should help you go far in making a positive and lasting impression at your new job.
Best of luck on your first day at work — and all the days that follow, too!