How To Make A Great First Impression At a Job Interview

Today’s the day. You’re getting ready for that important interview and the butterflies in your stomach have already kicked in. Having a job interview can make you a nervous wreck – especially if you really, really want that job. But if you keep these 5 important tips in mind, you can nail it, and with each interview, you’ll get better and better at making a great first impression. (Unless of course, you nail it on the first interview – awesome work!)

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You might think that preparing in advance isn’t part of the actual interview, but it really is. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel and it’ll show. You’ll be able to ask appropriate questions, and also answer questions with more confidence. Take a look at the company’s website, see what their values and mission statement are, read the team’s bios, and so forth. It will help you more than you imagine when you walk through that door.


Make sure you arrive on time. Actually, arrive just slightly early so you can sign in if required, use the restroom if you need to, and to take a deep breath. Don’t get there too early because that disrupts your interviewer’s workflow and often makes them think that a candidate is desperate. But rushing in at the last minute, with sweat dripping down your forehead doesn’t really make a great first impression either. Ten to fifteen minutes before your appointment is quite perfect.

Get a Grip

There’s no reason to feel that if you’re shaking the hand of a female — or if you are a female — that your handshake needs to be delicate and weak. We’re not talking vice grip here…but a limp, weak handshake makes a weak first impression. You can even practice your handshake with friends and family to feel comfortable doing it just right.

Eye Contact

One of the best ways to make that great first impression is to make eye contact with the person interviewing you. Besides your work history, it’s important to let the interviewer know who you are and get an idea of your goals and interests. Don’t be overly familiar, but do have a pleasant conversation and make eye contact. Remember, the interviewer is a person too and wants to feel comfortable with you as well. And turn off your phone!

Statements Matter

Be sure to wear something appropriate to the interview and avoid wearing anything that reflects a personal statement, such as a bold logo, or slogan. Also, it might take some effort, but be aware of the words you use. Your language should reflect the culture of the company. If you are interviewing at a buttoned-up corporate institution, you might want to lay off using words such as “dude” or “bro” and regardless of where you interview, absolutely don’t use inappropriate slang or off-color language.