When it comes to landing a job, first impressions are everything. Regardless of your experience or qualifications, if you make a bad first impression, you probably won’t get the job. With only a small window of time to convince an employer why they should hire you, it’s important to ensure that you stand out from the other candidates in the best way possible. For tips on how to make a good first impression at a job interview, continue reading.
Dress to impress
What you wear to a job interview can play a large role in how the employer initially perceives you. Because dress codes vary, what you wear will depend largely on the company you’re applying to and the position you’re after. For example, business formal attire may be expected when you’re applying to an established law firm, but people applying for a creative position at a start-up company may decide to dress more business causal. When in doubt, it’s better to be a little over-dressed. Arriving to your interview underdressed may make you appear unprofessional or give the impression that you don’t care very much about getting the job. This probably isn’t the first impression you want to go for.
Practice, practice, practice
Another way to make a good first impression at a job interview is to practice answers to common interview questions. You should never go into an interview with the mindset that you’re just going to “wing it.” Even the most spontaneous and well-spoken applicants should take the time to go through practice questions before their interviews. You may not know the exact questions the interviewer will ask, but practicing your answers to general questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?” will allow you to craft concise, thoughtful responses that will impress your potential employer.
Don’t be late
To avoid making a bad first impression before your potential employer even shakes your hand, make sure to arrive to your interview on time. And by on time, we mean early. After all, if you can’t arrive to your interview on time, your potential employer may not trust that you’ll be a reliable, punctual employee. As such, you should take precautionary measures to ensure that you arrive roughly 15 to 20 minutes before your interview is scheduled. Leave your home early to account for potential traffic jams or accidents on the road, and familiarize yourself with the route to make sure you don’t get lost on the way to the interview location.