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What Are Some Ways to Make a Good First Impression at a Job Interview?

by Kristin Swain

Making a good first impression is imperative at a job interview. When you're applying for a job, you have very few options to make that good first impression. Don't rely on your resume by itself to create a good first impression for you. The employer is considering hiring you as an employee, not your credentials. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you value yourself and the opportunity presented by the interview to help make a good first impression.

Physical Appearance

One of the first things that any prospective employer is going to notice about you is your physical appearance. Make sure that you dress for the part. Though not every interview requires a suit, you should still dress in business attire. If you're not familiar with the dress code for the company, consult the human resources department or the receptionist to find out about appropriate work wear. For your interview, you should dress a bit nicer than recommended. Make sure that your clothes are pressed and that your overall appearance is neat and clean. Avoid unnatural hair colors, dramatic makeup and ripped or torn clothing.

Personal Presentation

How your present yourself during your interview is extremely important. Don't be late. Map out your route to the interview the day before and plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. During the interview, you should be confident and knowledgeable, not cocky. The point is to relay to the employer that you're trustworthy and capable of meeting or exceeding the position's requirements. Practice the interview with a friend or in front of a mirror so that you can see what the interviewer will see during the interview. Make sure that your handshake is firm but not hard. Smile and speak in a friendly, conversational manner. Keep your body language relaxed and confident. Sit up straight and try not to fidget.

Do Your Homework

Don't go into your interview unprepared. Research the company that you've applied to before the interview. Know who the members of management are and the content of any current news stories about the company or its holdings. Study any recently publicized company expansions or deals. Make sure that you reread the job description carefully and know how your qualifications match up with the requirements for the position. Also be ready to point out any additional experience or training you have that could be beneficial to the company, such as speaking another language.

Practice Your Answers

Another beneficial exercise that helps you make a good first impression at a job interview is to practice your answers to common interview questions. Use general interview questions or a mix of general and specialized questions specific to the position. An Internet search can help you identify relevant interview questions. Practice with a friend playing the role of the interviewer or on your own in front of a mirror. This exercise helps you get your thoughts together and avoid mistakes such as uncomfortable pauses and the use of fillers such as "um" that might hurt your good first impression.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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