A job interview is the first impression you make on your future employer. It’s how they decide if you are a good fit for their company and how likely it will be that you’ll be successful on the job.
You may think this sounds like an exaggeration, but these first few moments can set the tone for how the rest of your career with them might go. That’s why first impressions play a critical role in the job interview process.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to make sure you make a good first impression to get your dream job!
Why is it important to make a good first impression at a job interview?
There are a few reasons why it’s so important to make a good first impression in a job interview.
First, the interviewer is trying to understand what you’re like as a person. They want to know how well you’ll fit into their company culture and if you have the potential to be a valuable part of their team.
Second, a positive first impression can help set the tone for the rest of the interview. If you start on the wrong foot, it will be much harder to recover later on. If you blow your interview, they may think that you’re not capable of doing well in this position and won’t give you a chance, even if you are qualified.
Finally, your first impression can determine whether or not they offer you the job. Yes, your qualifications and how well you answer the questions are important, but if you come across as incompetent or unprofessional, they may not be interested in hiring you.
But don’t worry – making a great first impression is something that can be learned! Here are a few tips to help you out:
5 tips to make a good first impression
#1. Arrive on time
This is one of the most important things you can do to make a great first impression. If you’re late, it shows that you don’t respect the employer’s time or your own.
Arrive early enough that you have time to find the building, get settled, and make sure your appearance is how it should be. Be smart about how much time you allow yourself for traffic or any other unexpected delays. Leave with plenty of extra time just in case something does come up!
#2. Dress appropriately
Arrive dressed appropriately for the job interview. You want to look professional – this means looking like a good fit for the company.
A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it was a workday. For example, casual attire may be acceptable in some companies, while others may require a more formal dress code. Be sure to do your research on the company’s dress code before the interview!
For example, if you have an interview at a corporate office, you’ll want to wear business clothing. If it’s a more casual office or work environment, then you can feel free to dress down or you’ll come off looking overly dressed.
Regardless of the dress code, you’ll also want to make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed, with no stains or holes in them. What you wear helps show how serious you are about getting this job!
#3. Ask good questions
Do some research on the company and come up with questions to ask the recruiter or hiring manager. If possible, try to find out ahead of time who will be interviewing you. Not only will this show that you’re interested in the position, but it also indicates that you took the time to prepare for the interview.
Good questions include ones that show you’ve done your homework and ones that dig a little deeper into how the company operates.
For example, “What is the company culture like?” or “What are some of the biggest challenges facing the company right now?”
Asking questions like this demonstrates that you’re not just looking for any job – you’re interested in this specific position and want to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
If you can’t think of other questions offhand, don’t worry! You can always ask them about their experience at the company or how they got started in their career. Just be sure to avoid anything too personal or controversial.
#4. Smile and make eye contact
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. A smile and eye contact show that you’re friendly, interested, and engaged in the conversation. It’s also a good way to break the ice if you’re feeling a little nervous.
Make sure your smile is genuine – you don’t want to look like you’re forcing it or just trying to be polite. And remember to keep eye contact while you’re talking! This shows that you’re listening and paying attention.
Smiling and making eye contact are simple things that make a big difference in how you come off!
#5. Thank the interviewer for their time
This is another small gesture that can make a big impact. Thanking them for their time at the end of the interview shows that you’re appreciative and interested in the position. It also leaves a good first impression!
After the interview, send them an email thanking them again for the opportunity. This will help solidify your place as a top candidate.
Making a great first impression is important – but it’s something that can be learned with a bit of preparation! Use these tips to help set yourself up for success and show the interviewer that you’re perfect for the job.
How long does it take to make a good first impression?
You already know that making a good first impression in an interview can be the deciding factor in whether you get the job. But, how long do first impressions take, exactly?
Some research studies say it takes 3 seconds, some say 7 seconds, and others – up to 30 seconds. But, in general, the first impression you make is very important, and how you behave during those first few moments will determine how the interviewer sees you for the rest of the interview.
The main takeaway is that you should always be aware of how you’re presenting yourself and make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.
It is important to note that good first impressions aren’t just about what you say or how you look – they’re also about how you act.
Are you fidgeting, looking around the room, or crossing your arms? All of these things can send the wrong message to the interviewer.
Be polite and engaged in the conversation, and show that you’re interested in the position. The more positive vibes you give off during the interview, the better your chances of getting hired.
How do you make a good first impression in an online interview?
While it might seem easier to make a good first impression in an online interview, there are still some things you need to keep in mind.
Since the interviewer can’t see you, they’re relying on your words and how you sound to get an idea of what you’re like. Make sure your tone is upbeat and that you’re coming across as confident and knowledgeable about the role.
Be aware of how long your answers are – don’t go on for too long or ramble on about irrelevant topics. Keep your responses concise and to the point.
Make sure your webcam is at a good angle so that the interviewer can see you clearly. You don’t want them struggling to see how you’re reacting to their questions.
Keep your background simple and uncluttered. This will help make sure that the interviewer can focus on what you have to say instead of how messy or cluttered your surroundings are.
Be polite, professional, and friendly throughout the entire interview. You want them to remember all the positive things about how well-spoken and thoughtful you were – not how distracted or awkward you looked when answering some of their questions.
After the interview, send them an email thanking them again for their time. This will help solidify your place as a top candidate.
Use these tips to impress the interviewer
First impressions are a crucial part of how people perceive you in the workplace.
It’s important to take some time before your interview so that you can think about how you want to come across and how you’ll answer questions.
We hope these tips will help you make a positive first impression on your interviewer and show how much you’d love to work for their company!
To learn how to build rapport with your colleagues and customers, check out the following articles:
How to Quickly Build Rapport With Customers
Start Off Strong: How to Make a Positive First Impression at Work
How to Motivate and Build Rapport with Your Employees
Learn the Importance of Rapport Building in Customer Service
How to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty