How to make a good first impression at a job interview

Job Interview

Everybody knows that first impressions are hugely important and this is especially the case when it comes to job interviews. With so much competition out there and limited vacancies available nowadays, creating a good first impression with a potential employer is vital if you want to ensure that you get through to the next stage. Here are some great tips to guarantee that you impress your interviewer and get that extra step closer to securing that job.

Dress to impress

The first thing anyone will ever notice about you is how you look. When you are hired by a company, you are a reflection of them and therefore they obviously want to ensure that they hire people who look professional and are well presented. Even if you know the company has an informal dress policy, always go to interviews suited and booted. Other small but often forgotten tips include keeping make-up looking natural, fingernails clean, shoes polished, your suit ironed and don’t make the mistake of going overboard with the perfume or aftershave.

Shake hands

A firm handshake is important when introducing yourself at a job interview. Employers want to see someone who is confident and happy to take the lead. It can feel a bit awkward if the interviewer doesn’t offer their hand first but if this happens, offer yours anyway because this is likely to impress them. If you’re worried about having sweaty hands due to nerves, keep tissues in your pocket or carry a hand sanitiser with you that you can use before you walk into the interview.

Avoid filler words

No matter how much you prepare or how many interviews you have had in the past, chances are that during your job search at least one employer is going to ask that dreaded question that leaves you completely stumped. Try not to let your discomfort show because they are probably testing to see how you get yourself out of difficult situations. If you need time to think about your answer, try saying something like ‘that’s a great question’ or phrasing your answer in such a manner that buys you time. For example, if they ask you where you see yourself in five years’ time, you could answer; ‘In five years’ time, I see myself……’.

Say goodbye

Once you have made your way through the interview by answering every question confidently and to the best of your ability, don’t ruin all your hard work by messing it up at the last hurdle. Even if you’re nervous or feeling overwhelmed, bidding a quick goodbye and bolting towards the door as quickly as possible doesn’t leave a (positive) lasting impression. Take the time to thank your interviewer and if they walk you out, use this opportunity to show some of your personality by asking what they have planned for the weekend.

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