How to Make a Memorable First Impression

As Seen In:
Wall Street Journal cNet Forbes MarketWatch TheJobNetwork

When a hiring manager first meets you, they’ll evaluate you within a few short seconds. This first impression they get from you will form the basis of their overall opinion. It’s therefore difficult to undo if it’s negative. To make the most favorable impression, here are a few tips to follow:

Be on time.

If you’re running even a few minutes behind, it’s going to impact the impression you’re making on the hiring manager. It’s therefore important to know where you’re going ahead of time, so you’re not late. Also, give yourself some extra time in case of an accident or traffic jam.

Be prepared to dress the part.

The clothes you’re wearing will have a big impact on the impression you’re making. You, therefore, don’t want to look sloppy or underdressed. Instead, don a business suit or, if more appropriate, business casual clothing. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s cleaned and pressed ahead of time, so you’re not left scrambling right before your interview.

Be ready with a smile.

When you first meet the hiring manager, make sure you’re smiling, making eye contact and shaking hands firmly with them. You want to come across as confident and friendly. If this is difficult for you to pull off, practice ahead of time with a family member or friend.

Be mindful of body language.

The hiring manager will be taking in everything you do, so avoid any nervous ticks, like twirling your hair or tapping your feet. This will immediately send the message that you’re not at ease and can impact the way the hiring manager perceives you. Instead, keep your body language in check by sitting up straight and keeping your hands still in your lap.

Be open to small talk.

Depending on your personality, you might love or loathe small talk. However, you should follow the hiring manager’s lead on this. If they seem like they want to chat for a few minutes about the weather or another topic ahead of the interview, engage with them. If they’re ready to get right down to business, then don’t hold them back with small talk.

Be polite and professional.

In everything you do, be polite and professional. This includes any interactions you might have while waiting in the reception area. These are the people who will often report back to the hiring manager about how they were treated. So make sure you are professional and courteous with everyone you come in contact with.

Need more help with your next interview?

At ResumeSpice, we offer an interview preparation service that will ensure you’re ready to ace your next conversation with a hiring manager. We can help you get everything right, from your body language to what you say, so you make the best impression. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.