First Impressions at an Interview

When it comes to being interviewed for a job, the first impression that you make on the interviewer is often the deciding factor in whether or not you will be considered for the position. Typically, experts say you have about three to five minutes to make a “good first impression”. 

Here are some things you can do to ensure a positive first impression: 

  1. Arrive early. You should arrive a little early for the interview to give yourself time to check-in. Punctuality is a good trait to have and employers notice it and find it equally as important as job function. 
  2. Dress professionally. No matter what type of job you are interviewing for, dressing professionally is essential. While there may be some occupations that don't literally require a business suit, it is always advisable to dress as if you already have the job you want. Conventional wisdom about dressing for success when it comes to job interviews says that you should actually dress as if you have a job one level higher than the one you want.
    Keep in mind that a job interview is much like an audition. You are much more likely to get the job if you look the part. You will never get a chance to make a second impression on a job interviewer if your first impression isn’t a good one. No one ever missed out on a job because their attire was too professional. However, people are overlooked for new jobs and promotions every day because the manner in which they present themselves is not professional enough. 
  3. A firm handshake is a sign of confidence. Shake their hand firmly and make eye contact when greeting your interviewer. Be confident, but not overbearing. 
  4. Make sure your body language reflects a positive attitude. Sit up straight and slightly forward in the chair. Keep your hands in your lap and answer the questions honestly and with directly. 

If you “dress the part” and have the right degree of confidence then you should be able to make a positive first impression for your potential employer. This first impression could be the deciding factor between you and your competition. 

Go to the my career centre for more job interview tips