Career & Interview

How to Leave the Perfect First Impression in an Interview

When it comes to job interviews, a lot of us might find ourselves nervous. It’s only natural, after all the future of your livelihood can depend on what happens while you are talking to the manager. Making that first impression on your possible future boss is extremely important, and with these five tips you can make sure that you have the best chance possible of getting the job that you are applying for.

by Amy Q.

How to Leave the Perfect First Impression in an Interview

Dress Sharp

When we say dress sharp, we don’t just mean put on a clean pair of pants and a tie. Take a little bit of time with picking things out, you don’t have to be a fashion guru to stand out a little bit with your style of dress.

The three basic rules of men’s fashion always apply, and especially in a job interview. Match the color of your belt and shoes, tuck your shirt in, and no shorts. If you follow these you’re on the right track, but there’s a little bit more you can do to stand out.

The visual aspect is a key component of the impression that you are going to leave with your interviewer. Make sure the clothes fit you well, and you’re on your way to being a winning candidate for the job before you have even opened your mouth.

A Firm Handshake

When you greet your prospect, you will inevitably be shaking their hand. It’s up to you to make sure that this vital aspect of greeting another human being is in order.

You’will want to shake firmly, two or three pumps. Don’t break their hand, of course, but don’t give a limp wristed shake or you’ll come off as weak and unsure of yourself. This can lead to a disastrous first impression.

Mirror Their Mannerisms

It’s been shown time and time again that mirroring the body language of someone can make them like you more. In this case, it’s a good tactic and it’s one that likable people use subconsciously in most of their dealings.

If they’re a bit stiff and businesslike, try to adopt the mannerism yourself. Loose and easy? Let yourself relax even if you’re normally quite formal.

Don’t mimic their body language one hundred percent, that’ll just make them feel odd, but instead you’ll want to mimic the “style” of their body language.

One caveat though, if your interviewer seems bored or hostile, don’t try and mimic it. In general, all you’ll be trying to play copycat with is their overall mannerism and make sure to look engaged.

If you give it some practice this tip can be useful in a lot more than just job interviews, but it’s one of the best ways to make a “this guy gets it” type of impression as soon as you start talking.

Be Prepared

Have your resume ready, make sure you know where everything you’ll need is. You want to look organized, even if the business you’re planning on working for is quite casual. You don’t need a ton of charts and graphs, but make sure that you’re not having to fumble in your briefcase or bag when the time comes to show off some paperwork.

This can be especially important for two kinds of jobs on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Accounting and other jobs where you’re basically being paid to organize other people’s papers, information and things. For creative professions it’s also important, these types of folks have a reputation for being flaky, and it’s a great way to make sure you give off a professional first impression.

Show Up On Time

Show up on time. Being late is going to seriously hurt your chances of landing the job, everyone knows that, but don’t follow the advice of anyone who tells you to show up too early.

In many cases, the boss’ first actual impression of your presence might just be finding out when you arrived.

This can put pressure on people to “entertain” you, as well as making you seem overeager or desperate. Ten minutes before the interview is perfect, maybe try showing up in the parking lot five or ten minutes before that in order to collect yourself.

Conclusion

If you follow all of these tips, you’re sure to be ready to land the job. Take a couple deep breaths, calm down, and keep it together. You’ve got this, all you needed was a little help. If you follow the simple tricks above, you’re sure to make a memorable and positive first impression.


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