How to Make a Good Impression at a Job Interview

Interviews are all about impressions, and the impression you make as you walk through the door is crucial! This initial judgement that someone may have about you, from this first interaction, can be the linchpin in whether or not you receive a job offer.

People form impressions based on how you talk, listen, and generally behave.

Take a look at the following list for some of the easiest ways you can make a good first impression on your interviewer.

Be Prepared

The most foolproof way to make a good impression at a job interview is to show up prepared with knowledge of not only the job you are applying for, but the company you are applying to as well!

You should take the time to research the company, its history, and its core values, for starters. If you can show that you have done your research and possess a wealth of knowledge about the company already, you will show the interviewer that you are serious about the position that you are there to discuss. 

Another way that you can prepare for your interview is by enlisting a friend, partner, or family member to test your skills in a mock interview.

Practicing will help to become more at ease with the interview process and interview questions. It is always a good idea to prepare answers and talking points in advance, it helps build your confidence and also shows the hiring manager that you came prepared which shows will show them that you are very interested in the position.

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Dress the Part

You should be sure to dress properly for the interview, as well as in a fashion that suits the job or industry you are interviewing for. This can be very important to a first impression– like many of the others on this list, it can directly affect how interviewers may view you.

Showing up in interview attire shows that you can be professional, and also shows that you are serious about this job opportunity. It also allows for the focus on the interview to be on you and your qualifications, rather than how you look. It can be distracting to interviewers when you come in very obviously not looking the part!

You should be well-groomed and clean as well, taking extra pains with your personal hygiene prior to your meeting. On the other hand, if you do not dress the part or groom yourself properly, it can convey a lack of professionalism or even a lack of interest.

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Arrive on Time

Punctuality is key in many aspects of our lives, and certainly more so in important situations such as a job interview. People who are late to things often make a negative impression on others – your job interview is definitely not an exception to this rule.

Arriving on time to your scheduled interview is one of the more basic requirements. It sets a precedent and shows that you are professional, are taking the interview and the interviewers’ time seriously, and can follow directions. 

Additionally, you should do your best to arrive early to the interview. This displays your level of commitment and professionalism. It also allows for you to be running a few minutes late without actually ending up being late for the appointed interview time. It gives you a time bubble in case anything comes up, such as traffic, finding parking, or losing your way when traveling to the interview site.

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Be Friendly and Courteous 

Being friendly will win you major points in any social interaction. It helps to put others at ease and make a good first impression. It has been proven that most people form their first impression of you within only a few minutes of meeting you.

You should be sure to enter your interview appearing calm, confident, and friendly to make a good impression. 

Greet the interviewer warmly and with a friendly smile and a firm handshake, also try to maintain eye contact as you are greeted. You should also introduce yourself and provide the interviewer with a clear introduction of who you are and why you are there. Yes, they will already be expecting you, but it is professional and will make a better first impression if you also make this introduction yourself.

When you encounter anyone else in the office, you should be friendly and courteous to them as well– do not save all of your charm for the interview team.

Your first impression on other people outside of the hiring managers or human resources can go a long way as well. They will want to make sure you fit well with the team, so if you seem unfriendly or unapproachable to the other staff, that can set off a red flag and could end your potential with landing the new job.

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Additional Tips

  • Use good posture
  • Act interested
  • Don’t open with any carless comments
  • Check your smile
  • Carry a portfolio and copies of your resume
  • Get your interviewer’s name right
  • Do a body check before the interview
  • Do a smile check before the interview
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself
  • Dry off your hands in the event that you get sweaty palms before shaking hands

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 tips for a successful job interview?

Here are some tips in order to set you up for success at your job interview.

You should be punctual and on time for your meeting, be polite, be prepared, do your due diligence and research the company, and last, but not least, you should not forget about nonverbal communication such as body language.

What creates a bad impression in an interview?

Being late to your interview creates a bad impression on your interviewer and can cause them to believe that you do not take the job opportunity seriously, for example. They may also be led to believe that you will be late to work if hired. Instead, you should aim to arrive at your interview early and call ahead if something has come up that may delay you.

Why is it important making good first impressions at a job interview?

When it comes to job interviews, a great first impression can help you get your foot in the door. It can make interviewers more receptive to you as a potential employee. From there, it’s up to you to close the deal with your professionalism and qualifications.

Likewise, a bad first impression can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth, and it may cause you to lose out on the job to another candidate. A bad first impression can close interviewers off to you before the interview has truly even begun.

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