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Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Lasting First Impression

A job seeker displays how confident and prepared they are for a job interview within the first few minutes of meeting the hiring manager. These first impressions could make or break the entire job interview for you. Here are a few things to be aware of that the hiring manager or human resources individual might be taking note of when you walk in the door. Your first impression is a lasting one, so make it a great one.

First contact: As you’ve already heard, a handshake can reveal any number of things about a person’s confidence level, so make sure yours if firm. Similarly, make sure you’re making eye contact with whomever you are speaking to. While it may be tempting, unless you’re on a walking tour of the facility, don’t let your eyes wander to look at your surroundings. If you’re offered the job you’ll have plenty of time to look around later; if you’re not, then you’ll most likely forget what the inside of this building looked like anyway. The important thing at the moment of first contact is to make sure you’re meeting your potential employer’s eyes. This way they know you’re attentive and confident.

Pay attention to your body language: This is a vital detail to be aware of from the minute you walk in the door until you walk out of it. Try to walk with straight, tall posture. When you sit, don’t slouch or lean back in the chair. In fact, it’s probably easier to sit straight and tall in a chair if you’re seated towards the front. You won’t be tempted to slouch. Be aware of where you’re placing your hands. It’s best to fold them or interlace your fingers and place them in your lap. Resist the urge to cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. Crossing your arms may make you look unapproachable; stuffing them in your pockets can make you seem unsure of yourself.

Dress for the part: In her video broadcast for job seekers, career expert Nicole Williams knows that what you wear to a job interview is vital to your first impression. Like it or not, you will be assessed based on how you look in addition to how qualified you are for the position. It is to your benefit to look like you already belong at the company for which you’re applying. You can achieve this by inquiring beforehand about the office dress code.  In addition to impressing your potential employer, dressing adequately and looking your best will inevitably boost your confidence as you step into the job interview.

Attention to detail: Nicole Williams also makes the point that it’s the minute details which can actually seal the deal for an employer. For example, if you’ve clearly shined your shoes for the job interview it shows you pay attention to detail. Women, is your purse organized? Men, is everything in your briefcase easily accessible? Do you need to dig through these bags for a resume, pen or notepad? Fumbling through a briefcase might show a potential employer that you’re not very organized or that you do not you take time to adequately prepare for important situations.

Be yourself: In the end, simply try to be your winning, charming self. Employers will most likely see through any front you may try, simply because human resources individuals are paid to do so, and the questions you answer will reveal a lot more about you than you may expect. Step into a job interview with confidence and rely on your qualifications and exceptional personality to help you succeed.

What are some things you do in order to make a lasting first impression on an employer in a job interview? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Svadilfari

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Written by

Kailyn is a recent college graduate with degrees in English and Political Science. She is currently working in the publishing industry, where she loves the fact that she is paid to immerse herself in talking and thinking about books all day long. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, cooking, line-dancing, and writing short stories and poetry. Her sincerest hope for contributing to Spark Hire’s job seeker blog is to provide job seekers of all ages with the tools and sense of humor necessary to stay calm and carry on.

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