Knowing how to make a good impression is an important skill, but it’s never more important than when you’re job searching! Your first impression can make or break your candidacy for the opportunity, and you only have one shot at making it great. Follow these tips to help you make a great first impression and set the tone for a successful job interview:
Look the Part
What you wear and how you look does matter! Always err on the side of professional and consider wearing a suit, but make sure whatever you wear is clean and wrinkle-free. Furthermore, make sure your hair is tidy, shoes are neat and accessories are conservative. If you look polished, your interviewer will remember you as a professional.
Arrive at the Right Time
Nothing hurts a first impression at an interview quite like arriving late! However, arriving too early can disrupt the interviewer’s schedule and throw off his/her day. So when is the best time to arrive to your interview? The “sweet spot” is 10 minutes before the interview starts.
Be Kind to Everyone
The person at the front desk or walking by may not be your interviewer, but you should still be warm and friendly. Of course, it’s the polite way to act, but some hiring managers ask receptionists about candidates’ demeanors when they came in.
Arriving prepared to an interview is essential. Bring copies of your resume, a pen, notepad and portfolio of your work (if applicable to your industry). Also, make sure you’re prepared with knowledge about the company and position, so you can better engage in conversation and ask thoughtful questions.
Watch Nonverbal Communication
An interview is so much more than just your spoken words; nonverbal communication plays a huge part. Handshakes, smiling, tone of voice, hand gestures, posture, eye contact – these are all cues hiring managers pay attention to throughout the interview, so be cognizant. To learn more about nonverbal communication, check out one of our recent blog posts.
Stash the Phone
Finally, put your phone on silent, not vibrate. The light humming of a cell phone is a major distraction and will take the interviewer’s attention off what a great candidate you are and instead make him/her think you’re unprofessional.
Yes, first impressions are intimidating, but confidence and preparation will go a long way at the beginning of your interview. Keep this advice in mind, and you are certain to begin your job interview on the right foot.
Have an additional tip for making a solid first impression at a job interview? Leave us a comment!