Make a Great Impression on Your Interviewer

Can you make a great impression on your interviewer, without having met him/her? Scott Sonenshein, author of “Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less- and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined,” says his research shows that yes, you can win a job before you have even met your interviewer. Sonenshein cites and eight month study as his source, stating that “creating the right impression before an interview can shape the content of the interview, and the outcome.” According to the study, if an interviewer already likes you, he/she will ask you easier questions during your meeting, and be more likely to hire you.

One way to make a great first impression is with a strong cover letter. Your cover letter is literally the company’s first impression of you, your first point of contact. The best piece of cover letter advice is to always personalize and include details specific to that company and that job. You should never submit the same cover letter to every company. Sonsenshein says that instead of sending hundreds of identical resumes and cover letters, send “fewer, more thoughtful and target ones.”

Sonsenshein emphasizes being up front about expectations. He believes finding the right job comes down to knowing what you want, and being honest about your expectations. But, also be open to having a conversation with your perspective employer about their expectations. If you have these conversations early on, there is a greater chance that you will get the job, and be a better fit in the position.