Tips To Make a Great First Impression During Your Interview

Tips To Make a Great First Impression During Your Interview

It’s difficult to overcome a negative first impression. For that reason, you should do everything you can to make a positive first impression during a job interview. Instead of just focusing on the questions you need to ask and making sure you have reliable references, you should also be thinking about how you will have a lasting impact on your interviewer. With these tips, you can do just that.

1. Arrive on Time

Perhaps the worst thing you can do on the day of your interview is to show up late. Although you have probably heard this, it’s crucial to make sure you get to your interview on time, or better yet, early. Determine how long it will take to get to your interview site when traffic is at its worst, and plan on leaving earlier than that on the day of your interview. Additionally, drive to your interview site before the day of your interview.

If you do end up running late for your interview, call the hiring manager and inform them of your tardiness. While they may not overlook your lack of punctuality, they will appreciate the notification. Being late with no warning is worse than notifying them that you will be late.

2. Dress for Success

Everyone likes to say that appearances don’t matter, but that’s not quite true. While your interviewer won’t make their decision solely based on how you look, your appearance does play a part in your first impression. If you show up disheveled or unprofessional, your interviewer will make a note of your dress.

To showcase a professional attitude, wear your best suit and shoes. Pick out your outfit days before the interview and iron it the night before your big day. When the day of your interview comes around, you’ll be ready for it.

3. Take Only What You Need

It doesn’t look good to show up to your interview with a water bottle, a coffee cup, and a backpack. Instead, only bring your essentials. Your portfolio is a must, but everything else can remain in the car. If you’re sipping a drink or juggling other non-essentials during your interview, the hiring manager won’t be impressed. Of course, this won’t keep you from getting a job. It just makes the wrong first impression, which makes it more difficult for you to prove your value.

4. Be Friendly with the Receptionist

The receptionist won’t be the one making a hiring decision. However, their opinion could matter to the hiring manager. In some cases, a manager might ask a receptionist for their opinion on the candidates. By being friendly with the receptionist, you can increase your chances of getting the job.

When you enter the office, be sure to have a smile on your face. Do your best to not look frazzled, and walk in with confidence. If you have time, you can make small talk with the receptionist to create a more memorable entrance.

5. Don’t Use Your Phone

For job interviews, there’s a lot of waiting. And while you might want to pass the time quickly, looking at your phone is not the answer. When you’re waiting in the lobby, leave your phone in your pocket or briefcase. To pass the time efficiently, look at your resume or re-read the job listing. When the receptionist or hiring manager comes to get you for the interview, you won’t need to quickly hide your phone. Instead, you’ll be waiting and ready.

6. Be Organized

If you’re fumbling around for your resume during the interview, you won’t make a positive impression. Going through a bag full of receipts and empty wrappers will leave an impression, but not one that will help you get a job. To give yourself a fighting chance, make sure you have your resume, references, and a pen ready to go.

You can keep everything in a folder at the front of your bag. When the interviewer asks for your resume, you can pull it out without hesitation. Because organization is a trait most interviewers look for, your prep work could help you get a job.

7. Be the One to Make Introductions

When you’re in the office, you might expect the manager to make introductions. This could be the case, but you shouldn’t wait for someone to greet or introduce you. To show initiative, be the first one to reach out your hand and introduce yourself. It’s a minor action but could have a major consequence. Your introduction shows confidence that might give you an advantage over other job applicants.

8. Connect with the Interviewer

If you want the hiring manager to remember you, connect with them. There might not be an obvious connection, but there’s something the two of you have in common. Look around the office for something you can mention. Is there a picture of them participating in an activity you like? Did you go to the same college?

When you can’t find something in common, make small talk. You could find out that you’re from the same place or both have children. Even a small connection could make a positive impression.

9. Be Confident

When you meet your hiring manager or employer, confidence is key. If you’re timid, the interviewer will notice your demeanor and think less of you. Show them you know what you’re doing and that they can trust you by being sure of yourself.

Although confidence is something some people are born with, there are ways you can improve your confidence. For instance, you could prepare for the interview. If you know what interview questions to expect, you’ll exude confidence. You can have friends ask you interview questions or practice answering questions in the mirror.

Networking is another way to boost confidence. As you go to networking events, you can practice having confidence. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel about yourself.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

Following these tips is a great way to make the hiring manager remember you in a positive light. When you’re applying for jobs, your positive impression could give you a serious advantage.

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