How to Make a Lasting Impression

Bonnie R. Siegel, Healthcare IT Recruiter, Witt/Kieffer

We all know that first impressions are important when you meet someone. Appearance, attire, posture, and overall look are things we see and judge within seconds of meeting someone. During your career as a health system CIO, you may have several opportunities to interview for another position. Have you seriously evaluated what “impression” you make on a prospective employer? Can you pass the test of a winning first impression and can you succeed at lasting impressions that would lead to a job offer?

First impressions

Whether you meet someone in-person or via video, prepare to be on “stage.” Your prospective employer or recruiter has already been swept off his or her feet by your resume and qualifications, but can you pass the close scrutiny of appearance, likeability, and interpersonal skills?

Strive to perfect that first impression. You may only have a few seconds and you can never replay that opening review. Spend money on a great suit, haircut, and shoes. Leave the old tattered tan briefcase at home and simply bring a leather portfolio. Forget cologne, avoid extravagant jewelry, and wear a fine watch. Stand straight and present a firm handshake, and you are as good as gold.

Lasting impressions

Getting past the initial meeting will allow you to relax and enjoy the rest of the interview. Be yourself, laugh, be positive, and do less talking. Let the interviewer do most of the talking and be ready to interject some questions as needed. Remember, they are looking for someone with your qualifications, but your style, your likeability, and interpersonal skills will nine times out of 10 get you hired.

Other things to remember: keep your answers to the point and under two minutes long. If you are doing a video conference, beware of your surroundings and make them as professional as you can. During a recent video conference, a candidate will be remembered forever because he had an abstract painting on the wall behind his head which made him look like he had two large yellow horns!

Leave them wanting more and with a great impression of you. Good luck.


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