How to Make a Great First Impression
You hear it over and over again, first impressions matter. This is something that we’ve been told for as long as we can remember, but when it comes to a job interview, it’s important to note just how crucial that first impression is to landing you the job.
Did you know it only takes a few seconds to form a conclusion or opinion when first meeting someone? A recruiter can quickly evaluate your verbal and non-verbal clues to determine whether you’re the right fit for a job. Although those judgements may be inaccurate, they’re long lasting; a negative judgement is one of the hardest to change.
We’ve provided a list of tips and tricks to ensure that you always make a positive first impression!
Although simple, a handshake speaks volumes during an interview. As the greeting, It’s often the first clue that an interviewer has about you, and can relay a certain level of trust and confidence. Be prepared; it’s custom to shake with your right hand, so keep this hand free when walking up to a recruiter to avoid an awkward transition of items. For the perfect handshake grasp firmly, be sure to keep eye contact and smile!
Your outfit is one of the first things an interviewer will notice about you, so it’s important to take pride in your appearance. Dress professionally in neutral clothes that match the job you’re applying for. No matter what you decide to wear, be sure everything is clean and pressed. Avoid other noticeable distractions like heavy jewelry, headphones, strong perfume or cologne.
Eye Contact can play a large role in someone’s first impression of you. Avoiding eye contact in an interview shows a lack of interest and in turn, makes it look like you aren’t listening to what the interviewer is saying. Be sure to look the interviewer in the eye when they’re talking and really focus on the content of the conversation so you can, in turn, ask thoughtful questions.
Body language can be a great tool in showing you’re confident and ready for an interview. Be sure to stand tall. Similarly, negative body language can be your downfall in an interview. Nervousness can cause you to fidget excessively which can distract an interviewer from what you’re saying, and force them to notice only the way you’re acting. Be aware of your jitters, sweaty palms, nail biting, or whatever sets you back, to help keep your body language in check.
Remember, first impressions are important and you only get one chance to make one. But that’s no reason to fear them! Be confident and collected to ensure a positive first impression. If you get nervous easily, then you know exactly what to work on! Take these tips and do a mock interview with a friend or mentor so they can give you tips on how you came across. Most importantly, just be yourself and smile!