First Impressions

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Research shows that people really do make up their minds about you in just a few minutes. They may not even realize they are doing it, but just a few moments into a conversation you have already been judged. Often, the most qualified person doesn’t always get the offer. Instead, the qualified candidate who makes the right first impression gets the offer. Here are eight tips that will help you make a good first impression:

  1. Be readily available. It is challenging for busy people to schedule interviews; however, you need to be as flexible as possible in accommodating requested interview schedules.
  2. Arrive on time. Show up late for an interview and you can kiss the job goodbye.
  3. Look professional. Everything about you will tell a story. What do your clothes, shoes, accessories, and personal grooming say about you?
  4. Greet with a firm handshake and a friendly smile. A limp handshake has eliminated otherwise qualified candidates.
  5. Make eye contact. It gives the impression of being dishonest and it implies you have little confidence and low self-esteem.
  6. Project confidence and competence. Get down to business quickly. This shows you are serious and have respect for the hiring authority’s time, as well as your own.
  7. Extend common courtesy to everyone. Assume that everyone from the receptionist to the hiring authority’s colleagues are observing you. You never know who will say what to whom after you leave.