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How to make a great first impression

You did it. You showed off your skills with a compelling CV and application, completed all your research and preparation, nailed the interview (or interviews) and got the job.

Congratulations, that’s no mean feat.

Now, the next challenge begins: starting work.

Get off to the best start possible with a good understanding of the culture and behaviour of your new workplace and prove to your new boss and colleagues you were the right choice for the job.

What is workplace culture?
This is essentially the personality of a workplace and every organisation has one. It determines the attitude, energy and productivity of a working environment, and part of your job will be to fit in. Your employer will likely have judged you to be a good match for the organisation’s culture during the interview process. It’s worth asking where you can find information about the culture and values of the organisation and the principles that they apply.

What is appropriate workplace behaviour?
It’s possible, and is certainly encouraged, to become friends with your colleagues, but the workplace also tends to be a place of more formal behaviour and standards. This means that the way you dress, talk and behave needs to be professional.

1. Dress appropriately
Even if your workplace doesn’t require you to wear a suit or uniform, it’s important to show you’re ready to work. Gauge what your colleagues wear and make sure your clothes are clean and neat.

2. Pay attention
Communication is about listening as well as talking. By paying attention and trying your best to concentrate, especially when people are explaining new tasks or processes, you’ll know what people expect of you and you’ll pick things up quicker.

3. Ask questions
It’s okay to ask questions or take notes for reference. This will show you’re interested and engaged in your work.

4. Follow the rules
Workplace rules exist so that everyone stays happy and safe. Following them shows your honesty and integrity and lets your employer know they can trust you.

5. Be part of the team
Teamwork plays a huge role in the workplace. It’s important to get on with the people you work with as you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Make an effort to interact with them and get to know them.

Figuring out the culture of a new workplace and finding your way in it takes time and nobody will expect you to nail it on day one. However, by thinking about your behaviour and being enthusiastic and open to new ideas and ways of working, you can make your first impression a positive one.

These modules on preparing for interviews will give you some great tips on good questions to ask and help you think about dealing with people in the workplace.

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