The art of interviewing: How to stand out, make a good first impression quickly

As people face a potentially different job market in 2024, the art of interviewing has changed drastically, sometimes to the benefit of job seekers.

Nikita Gupta is with a firm called Careeflow.ai, which helps job seekers. She says one thing that hasn’t changed is the critical length of time most people have to make an impression in an interview.

“You have 8 to 30 seconds to pass a candidate forward or pass them to the rejection pile,” said Gupta.

It’s clearly not a lot of time to make a first impression, but for people interviewing for a job, it is the most critical time in the process: those first few seconds to make it clear you’re the one for the job. Remote interviews have become a norm that most people realize is now an industry standard born out of the pandemic.

We spoke to recruiters and headhunters who say that interviewers love it when people walk in and know everything about the company. It shows that you’ve done your research on the company and often the person you’re interviewing with. Any and all research you can do can help in the interview process.

Josh Warborg with the employment firm Robert Half says one key thing people should focus on is the questions you want to pose to the company.

“Ask great questions…the people that make the best impression on me are the ones that ask amazing questions. The questions that I love to hear are what helps someone be successful in the job I’m interviewing for, who are your best performers and what do they do,” said Warborg.

Warborg says knowing a company is great, but asking the questions about what makes the company successful, what makes the position you’re applying for critical, and how to succeed in those positions are some of the most critical parts of an interview. It may mean asking simply “how can I be great in this position, and what does it take?”

People can even resort to asking the interviewer how they got to where they are in the company and what the firm considers success when it comes to advances in the workplace.