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How to make a memorable first impression
They say overall impressions are formed in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. A job interview is one of the most important first impressions you will give so make your first impression with your prospective employer is a positive one by following these simple but important steps.
There is no worse first impression for a job interview than arriving late. Prospective employers will deduce that you have poor time management skills and don't take interviews or your work seriously. Ensure that you arrive 10-15 minutes early for the interview. This will ensure that you have ample time to compose yourself and mentally go over any last minute preparation, as well as being ready when they call you in.
If first impressions are made in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, dressing appropriately will be key to a job interviewer’s first assessment of you.
If first impressions are made in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, dressing appropriately will be key to a job interviewer’s first assessment of you. There’s no harm in asking ahead of time what sort of dress code the company has, but if you aren’t sure, dress conservatively and neatly. Don’t underestimate the importance of an iron and a washing machine!
Stay cool, calm and collected
Interview nerves are bound to occur, but don't let them overtake you. It’s common to speak too quickly when you are particularly nervous, so try to pause after each question before you begin answering. The extra beat will help you compose yourself and prepare exactly what you are going to say. Remember to take deep breaths to keep yourself calm during the process to help centre yourself.
Greet your interviewer politely
When the time comes to meet your interviewers, make sure that they remember you. They will be interviewing a number of candidates and so a confident and friendly – but always professional – greeting is particularly important. A firm handshake is imperative, as is eye contact and a smile. During your research you should have memorised the names of those interviewing you, so make sure to greet them using their name. This is a key step to impressing your potential new employers in the early stages.
Retain positive body language
Once you have made your memorable first impression with a strong handshake, eye contact and a positive smile, you need to carry this on throughout the interview. Make sure you sit upright and neatly (don't slouch). This will also help you to breathe better during the interview and ensure you don't become too complacent. Make sure you retain eye contact throughout the interview and avoid filling gaps in your answers with “umms” and “ahhs”. Speak with a confident air and try not to stumble over your words.
Leave them with a solid goodbye
How you close an interview is actually more important than you may think. Once the questions are wrapped up and it's time to leave, make sure to again shake hands with your interviewers, retaining eye contact and smiling and always thank them for their time in interviewing you.
Learn more about how to give the best interview you can by reviewing our job interview tips and advice.
- Arriving early and being completely prepared
- Dressing neatly and professionally
- Retaining eye-contact, smiling and providing your interviewer with a firm handshake when you meet them
- Remaining relaxed but keen during the interview