It's difficult to come back from a bad first impression. When you're interviewing for a new job, you will therefore need to make sure you're doing everything in your power to impress a hiring manager straightaway.
The good news is that doing so is surprisingly easy, and may take just a little bit of work to get absolutely right. Here are five of the best tips to make a great first impression:
1) Dress for success
If the first thing an interviewer notices is your shirt isn't ironed or suit doesn't fit, the meeting could really be over before it starts, according to Indeed. To that end, you should definitely plan your outfit for the interview the night before by washing, ironing and otherwise preparing to make sure every aspect of it is on point. As a general rule, you should also try to dress "one up" for the job - meaning if it's a business-casual office, wear a suit, etc.
2) Bring the right materials
You should always show up ready for an interview, and beyond studying up appropriately (such as by reading the company's website, looking up the hiring manager on LinkedIn, memorizing the broad strokes of the job description, etc.) that also means looking prepared, Indeed added. Doing so includes bringing an extra copy of your resume for everyone with whom you'll speak as well as a notebook and a pen so you can make appropriate notes throughout the interview.
3) Show up a little early
While it's never a good idea to get to the office half an hour early or more, you should definitely plan to arrive in advance of the scheduled time, according to Wisebread. It's not always easy to meet hoped-for arrival times, what with traffic and train schedules sometimes being unpredictable. If you're too early, find a nearby coffee shop to hang out in for 15 or 20 minutes, or just wait in your car in the parking lot before heading inside.
4) Walk the walk
When they finally call you into the room where you'll interview, you can make a good first impression by sitting up straight in your chair, with both feet on the floor, and rising confidently, Wisebread noted. After that, walk into the room with your shoulders back and head held high, as these are two body-language indicators that say you're confident and prepared.
5) Handshake and a smile
When you actually greet your interviewer, make eye contact, have a firm handshake, and smile as you introduce yourself, according to The Balance Careers. As with walking in the right way, these steps may sound simple, but they're important to master to better convey confidence without saying a word. If you generally think you have a weaker-than-desired handshake or are otherwise not confident with such introductions, getting a friend or family member to help you practice is usually a great idea.
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