Job Seeker

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Article by: Courtney Reynolds — View more articles by Courtney Reynolds

Posted on: Mar 26, 2019 5:22:36 PM

Avoid Making an Awful First Impression

avoidCongratulations – you’ve landed an interview for your next payroll or HR position! Now it is time to not only nail the interview but make a great first impression so your interview (and your HR job candidacy) doesn’t get derailed. At Willory we've heard of far too many payroll and HR candidates’ chances for the job die before the interview really gets going. Why? Because the payroll or HR candidate makes a terrible first impression. Here are some things for you to consider ensuring your own interview doesn’t go off the rails.  

All About Attitude  

From the minute you walk into the door for a payroll or HR job interview, be upbeat and positive. You may be entering a situation where you are skeptical of the HR job fit or an interview may have a bad moment or two. It doesn’t matter, stay positive. The receptionist, interviewer, and even people you simply walk by are all looking to see if you will fit in as a good member of the team. Even if you KNOW that you are not, leave that decision in your hands as you can decide not to return for another interview at a future date.  

No matter the circumstance, continue (from start to finish) to show the potential employer the best side of you. Be courteous, confident, and upbeat… never negative.  

Your Social Media Footprint  Social media isolated over a white background - 3D text

Often an interviewer won’t really dig into your background until the minutes before or the minutes after an interview. What does your social media profile look like? Is it inflammatory with politically-charged comments or do you look like you’re still living your glory days and out drinking every night? Just be smart and either clean up your presence or lock it down so tight that only people who you absolutely trust can see. 


Untitled design (5)"Be Prepared!” 

Sure, Scar from The Lion King may have been a villain, but his recommendation of “be prepared,” is really one I stand behind. When preparing for an HR interview, make sure you’re ready to answer the obvious questions that will surely come your way.  

  • Why are you interested in this company/position?  
  • Why are you looking for a new opportunity?  
  • The dreaded: Where do you see yourself in five years?  
  • And more depending on the specific payroll or HR opportunity.  

If you stumble over obvious interview questions it shows the employer that you didn’t care enough to prepare. So why should they care enough to consider you?  


As an interviewer reviews your resume quickly before your payroll or HR interview, they will take a closer look. Lying on your resume may not be caught – but if it is, you can be sure your interview will be a short one. From the moment you apply to an HR job, make sure your resume is truthful.  

Not for Me  

We’ve all been in an interview in where it quickly becomes apparent that the job is simply “not for you.” This doesn’t mean that you should bail, be dismissive, or become visibly disinterested. We see candidates all the time that are not right for one position be approached later or during the same interview for a more appropriate fit. Stay upbeat and don’t burn any bridges!  


If you’d like more advice about interviewing, visit the Willory website for an archive of our blogs about interviewing: