How to Make a Great First Impression in Your Dubai Job Interview

A recent study from Harvard University tells us that  interviewers  make up their mind about you within 30 seconds of meeting you, yes just 30 seconds!

Think about that when you next attend an interview in Dubai, that by the time, you have greeted the interview, shaken hands, exchanged pleasantries and sat down, the interviewer could already have decided if you are a good or bad fit for the job.

This is why it is so important that you make a strong first impression on your interviewer and below, I have set out several steps to help you do this.

1.Build a strong on-line brand

Research tells us that 92% of employers are checking social media profiles before they even lay their eyes on a candidate, which means your interviewer will be developing an impression of you long before you enter the interview room. Therefore, the first step in creating a strong opening impression starts prior to the interview where you must be sure to prepare a fully optimized Linked-In profile and privacy managed Facebook profile and active twitter stream with relevant industry related tweets and opinions.  Doing this means that from the moment you walk in the room the interviewer will have a strong impression of you.

2.A firm handshake is a must

You should be sure to shake the interviewer’s hand firmly — or at least offer the same pressure they present to you — as this will show confidence and conviction. Shake their hands three time at a maximum and, importantly, be sure to maintain eye contact and smile throughout the shake.

3.Address the interviewer by name

One of the best ways to grab someone’s attention and to demonstrate that you are focussed on them is to address them by name, saying something like, “Pleased to meet you, Kazim“, or simply, “Hello Martin, pleased to meet you…“. So, ensure to make a strong first impression by using their name early on in your interaction.

4.Develop an opening greeting

You should choose your first 12 words carefully as these will make the strongest impact on your interviewer. During these first 12 words, try and mention the interviewer’s name, as well as show your own enthusiasm for the interview and express gratitude for being called to interview. I recommend that you prepare your greeting in advance and it should be something like, “Hello Martin, pleased to meet you, and thank you for meeting me today“.

5.Dress to impress

Do not take this for granted. Make sure you understand and comply with the dress code for the company. The more you look like an employee in terms of dress code, the easier it will be for the employer to visualize you as a potential future employee, which is one of several important steps in them deciding to choose you for the role. So, its not just about dressing formally, its about dressing in the tone and style of that organization.

6. Posture

Never hunch, shuffle  or slouch when walking (and in the case of the latter, when sitting either). Instead, make sure your back is straight, your head is high and that you stride confidently.

Good Luck with your next interview


About the author

Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of—a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers. It includes a blog with career and small business advice articles. Kazim is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practising HR professional for 14 years.

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