Interviewing? - Real Things You Have to Do to Make a Great First Impression

I have written numerous articles on how to use technology to get your resume noticed by employers so they will consider you for an interview. Many of you are getting the interviews but not getting the job offer. What gives? After getting a lot of feedback from job seekers, it is very clear that many of you are not making a great first impression. I am not talking about your interview skills. I am talking about setting a high bar from the moment you meet the hiring manager or human resource director.

My checklist for first impressions is very simple and it should be. When interviewing, so many spend time trying to memorize canned answers to questions like, “tell me about your greatest weakness?” Sure you need to be prepared but make sure that you do a great job with your first impression. It will make the rest of the interview go much smoother. 

To make a great first impression, follow this list:

1.    Dress well. I interview quite a few people each year and well-dressed people almost always do great in the interview. Pretty sure it is not a coincidence. Nice new and stylish clothes make you feel good and that feeling is what you are looking for when you meet your potential new boss.

2.    Is it makeover time?  


Lisa Maile is a personal brand expert. In this video, she takes a school teacher and rebrands her image. Clothes, makeup and hair style are all part of it but a professional can really help you find your own personal brand. This is powerful stuff! Believe it or not, the reason many never get a job offer has nothing to do with skill sets. It usually boils down to a gut feeling on how the hiring authority feels a job seeker will fit in to their company culture  Looking great puts brings out confidence in people. For those in a hiring capacity, they will ALWAYS hire confident people.

3.    Be enthusiastic. That statement isn’t earth shattering. However, I witness so many people who are nervous (understandably) starting an interview that they have a hard time being themselves immediately. A great first impression requires this. Show your enthusiasm by a firm handshake while looking the hiring authority in the eyes and smiling. When you sit down, sit up and smile some more.  

4.    Understand your value. I speak to numerous job seeker groups with many who are struggling in their job search. Once you master looking good and smiling many job seekers go into “perfect answer to questions” mode. You are interviewing because you have skills that a company needs and they want to hire you. You have to realize that you have the edge. The employer needs you! You can be confident in your skill set and that will translate well in a first impression at the beginning of the interview.

Employers like to hire confident people.  The first few minutes of an interview really does determine if you will get an offer.



Back to listing