First impressions are important. It takes just a few seconds upon meeting someone to make a first impression. That first impression, especially in a job interview, can make or break a person’s overall opinion of you. Next time you’re meeting someone for the first time, keep these five things in mind.
Arrive on Time
The best way to make a good impression is to arrive early. Being five minutes early means being on time! You should arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. “If your first interview impression is of you being 15 minutes late, what will your future boss think when it’s time to meet important deadlines” (Ashley DeSimone, CFS New York)?
To ensure you arrive on time, check traffic and weather reports to avoid any type of delay. If you are unsure of the exact interview location, then drive by the night before. Following these tips will not only ease your nerves but it will also show that you value the interviewer’s time.
Dress for Success
Before you even introduce yourself to the hiring manager, you have already made a first impression. Their initial opinion of you is based on how you present yourself and what you wear. To ensure you make the best impression, dress in business professional attire. “Wearing a suit is a must for any type of job interview” (Dianna Kingcade, CFS Columbus). All clothes should be ironed, free of stains, and must fit well. “When you dress professional you feel professional” (DeSimone, CFS New York).
Keep Your Phone Out of Sight
“Whether you’re waiting in the lobby or waiting in the interview room, avoid using your smartphone” (Kingcade, CFS Columbus). Your phone should be on silent and stowed in your bag, out of sight. Rather than using your phone, take the time you have to look over your resume or peruse the research you conducted on the company. A few minutes of extra prep time never hurts.
Give a Firm Handshake
Handshakes are the most common gesture in the professional world. This is an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the interview. Make sure your handshake is firm but not overly firm. When you offer your hand to your interviewer, make sure your hands are dry. “If you have a tendency to have sweaty palms, wash your hands with cold water before you enter the reception area” (Diane Delgado LeMaire, CFS Houston). A firm handshake not only leaves the employer with a better first impression of you, but it also shows that you are a confident and assertive person, both of which increase your chances of getting a second interview—or even a job offer.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
Interviews are high stress situations, but that doesn’t mean your nerves should prevent you from succeeding! Before entering the interview, take a deep breath, smile, and focus on conveying confidence. Remember to have good posture. Avoid fidgeting with your hands, looking down when answering questions, or slumping in your chair. Throughout the interview, remember to maintain eye contact with the person you’re speaking with. “If you have a problem with direct eye contact, look at their eyebrows. They will never know the difference” (LeMaire, CFS Houston).
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to walk into your interview confident and ready to make a great first impression!
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